Mark, pleese explain the 90 minutes in Mainz to the Hoffenheim faithful once again…
Mark Uth: It was difficult as we started the match so badly. We shouldn’t be allowing that to happen. When you go three goals down twice before half time usually the game is over. We had a good talk with the coach in the changing room though and had nothing to lose. It wouldn’t have mattered if the game had ended 4-1 or 5-1 or whatever, it’s still a loss. That is why we put our heart on our sleeve and pushed forwards, tried everything and carried on. That was how we managed to pick up a point.
You scored twice, your tenth and eleventh Bundesliga goals for Hoffenheim, with ten of them coming in your last 16 games. Things could be worse?
Uth: That’s true. I am feeling good, have a lot of confidence and having a lot of fun playing football. The fact I am helping the team by scoring is great.
Is there a secret? What do you do with your left foot?
Uth: No there isn’t anything in particular. I completed the whole of pre-season without any setbacks and feel as fit as ever, which is important to begin with. It means that I can always give my best out on the pitch. My left foot obviously plays a big role in me scoring goals. It does the job well and when it works there is always the chance of a goal or two. I also do a lot of extra practice on my finishing, especially with our assistant coach Alfred Schreuder. I like to cut inside and let fly towards goal with my left. It’s perfect when it works out like it did on Sunday.
VfL Wolfsburg will be coming to Sinsheim next week and their striker Mario Gomez has been one of the best German strikers in recent years. Is he a player that you look up to?
Uth: He is a very different type of player to me. He gets into the box a lot more, while I play in different areas and am more likely to pick the ball up in midfield. If I had to pick a striker in the league at the moment as a role model, it would be Robert Lewandowski.
What have you learnt from the Mainz game for your next matches?
Uth: Starting like that can’t happen anymore. We have to make sure we are in the game from the beginning and show passion. Tactically, we will have to defend better as it’s unlikely we will comeback from 4-1 down again. If we are in the game from the first minute to the last, we can win against Wolfsburg.
What sort of game are you expecting? The Wolves have a good attack…
Uth: Definitely, Draxler, Gomez and the rest are a very strong side with plenty of individual quality, which will be difficult to defend against. Therefore, we will have to be compact, organised and defend as a team. That ist he bottom line. We beat Wolfsburg 1-0 in the second half of last season and that is something that we can do again.
How important would that first home win be?
Uth: It would be extremely important for everyone; the team, the club, the fans. A win like this would give us a lot of confidence and the earlier we get that, the better and preferably it will be on Saturday.