German Sport

Darmstadt 98 before relegation – lilies raise the white flag

As of: April 7, 2024 1:51 p.m

SV Darmstadt 98 lost against Mainz 05 and lost their last hope of staying in the league. Coach Torsten Lieberknecht just wants a sensible farewell, former manager Carsten Wehlmann gets rid of his fat.

Torsten Lieberknecht was the one after the final whistle 4-0 defeat in the basement duel at Mainz 05 on Saturday visibly trying to find positive approaches. According to the coach of SV Darmstadt 98, his team was “on par” with the hosts, who were superior in all respects, in the first half and could well have taken the lead. “We had our moments,” he said.

In particular, a counterattack in the early stages by Braydon Manu and Mathias Honsak, which was stopped at the last second by Mainz keeper Robin Zentner who had rushed out, was still on Lieberknecht’s mind when he spoke at the press conference. “If Honsak gets the tip of his foot and if he shows absolute will, he can sneak the ball past,” said Lieberknecht, summing up the action and, unintentionally, the Darmstadt dilemma. Honsak, like many others, did not show absolute will. In a game with this importance, this is nothing less than a declaration of bankruptcy.

The crucial percentages are missing

Now Lieberknecht didn’t even blame the Austrian winger for his reluctance in a duel. “That’s his character.” He also doesn’t want to hear judgments about his team with terms like “dissolution”, “catastrophic” or “no attitude”.

However, since captain Fabian Holland also admitted that the Lilies had not reached their performance limit in this duel for the very last chance to stay in the league, one can only shake one’s head in perplexity. “We didn’t manage to bring 100 percent to the pitch”said Holland. “And if you can’t do that, then it can look like this.” Two sentences that describe the entire season. The South Hessians have themselves to blame for their relegation.

Aytac Sulu in the home game!

Former Lilien player Aytac Sulu will be a guest at the home game next Monday! be. The program will be broadcast on hr television at 11:15 p.m. and can also be seen in the media library beforehand. Sulu played a total of 193 times for the Lilies and was part of the promotion team.

Lilies realistic: The decline is approaching

The fact that this will happen and Darmstadt 98 will say goodbye to the second division after just one year is certainly no shame for a newcomer and is anything but a surprise. The fact that this will happen has finally arrived in Mainz’s heads, given that they are nine points behind relegation place 16. After weeks full of slogans of perseverance and more or less credible declarations of war on the competition, the southern Hesse team raised the white flag in Mainz and buried the last spark of hope.

“We have to be realistic. It’s now about completing our tasks cleanly and carefully,” emphasized Lieberknecht. “Now it’s time to show heart again. We owe that to our fans,” added Holland. The farewell tour has begun, the Lilies’ short-term Bundesliga dream lasts exactly six games and will then end on May 18th. Next season the opponents will again be Paderborn, Nuremberg or Greuther Fürth.

Lily fans angry

The mood in which these new and significantly less attractive tasks will be tackled in southern Hesse will probably be decided in the coming weeks. The Lilies, who after the new debacle trotted with hanging heads towards their crowded fan curve and then crept through the catacombs towards the cabin like beaten dogs, want and must reconcile with their supporters.

At the very end of this black afternoon, some of the fans sang “We are Darmstadters” and thus acoustically strengthened the team’s back. As was the case after the 6-0 loss against Augsburg, the players also had to listen to some clear words from the angry supporters. “Going into the corner was difficult. Seeing these faces is extremely bitter,” said Holland. The harmony was definitely greater in southern Hesse.

Lieberknecht criticizes Wehlmann

In keeping with this, Lieberknecht took advantage of the difficult hour at the press conference and sent a few friendly greetings to Kiel and former manager Carsten Wehlmann as part of an investigation into the causes. When asked about the possible lack of quality in the squad, Lieberknecht publicly criticized the former sporting director’s departure during the winter break for the first time, thereby shifting a large part of the responsibility to Wehlmann. “A lot of people had to put their heart and soul into that. We had to bring in even more energy through this decision.”

Wehlmann, Lieberknecht explained, handed in his resignation completely unexpectedly two days after a nine-hour squad planning meeting and thus offended the club. “It wasn’t an easy situation.” The fact that Lieberknecht did not even mention Wehlmann’s name in his explanations further illustrated the broken relationship. Lieberknecht and Wehlmann, the former promotion hero duo, will probably no longer be friends for the time being.

Lieberknecht still has strength

As was clear in several places in Mainz, a lot of things went wrong with the lilies this season. The sporting mistakes need to be addressed, the squad needs a general overhaul. Coach Lieberknecht announced that he still had enough strength for these challenges and wanted to accept them. Whether he gets the trust remains to be seen. However, the clean-up work that will take place will take time.

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