Borussia Dortmund v Mainz: Klopp looking up after Freiburg win
Jurgen Klopp has urged his Borussia Dortmund side to build on their first victory of 2015 when his former club Mainz visit Signal Iduna Park on Friday.
After a difficult campaign worsened on their return from the mid-season break, Dortmund moved off the bottom with a 3-0 victory at Freiburg last weekend, although Klopp's men have plenty of work to do to salvage a respectable finish.
The 2012 Bundesliga champions - boosted by the agreement of a long-term contract for Marco Reus this week - remain in the bottom three and Klopp is eager to banish memories from their last home match.
Roman Weidenfeller and Mats Hummels attempted to appease angry fans after the 1-0 loss to Augsburg, with Klopp well aware of the room for improvement.
"It was completely understandable that they whistled after the Augsburg game, we must ensure that we give them something to cheer," explained the Dortmund coach, who will be without Kevin Grosskreutz (thigh), Sebastian Kehl (shoulder), Sven Bender (knee) and Erik Durm (illness).
"The fans have done right by us in the past and a special atmosphere is always the basis for a special performance. The victory in Freiburg has brought back the confidence that for many was lost after the Augsburg game.
"The training has been very, very good this week. A win gives confidence, but bringing it into games and taking as many points as possible - this is the urgent task facing us.
"Sure, the guys feel better but the mood is not so good that you'd think they had forgotten what the situation is. They want to take the momentum and I want to try to help them."
Since Klopp left the Coface Arena for Dortmund, he has lost to his former employers just twice - a 1-0 reversal in 2010 and the 2-0 loss suffered at Mainz earlier this season.
Kasper Hjulmand's side, who are just three points ahead of Dortmund, come into the game with just one win from their last 12 Bundesliga outings and will be without suspended goalkeeper Loris Karius after his red card in last weekend's 2-0 defeat to Hertha Berlin.
However, Dortmund loanee Jonas Hofmann could make his first appearance since mid-October following a knee injury - with his absence having coincided with Mainz's dismal run of form.
"I'll take things day-to-day, but at the moment it’s looking good," he told the club's official website this week.
"There's a high possibility that I'll be able to play. I'm doing everything I can to get back on the pitch.
"I'm hugely looking forward to the game. I know a lot of people [at Dortmund] and it's an amazing place to play.
"The team spirit at Mainz is outstanding there's no doubt about that. If we use our quality then we'll definitely stay in the Bundesliga."