MAGATH ADMITS EURO CHANCES BLOW
Wolfsburg coach Felix Magath has urged his side not to let their season peter out even though he admits a European spot may now be beyond them.
After winning four successive matches at the end of last month, the Wolves suffered a dismal start to April as they lost three times in eight days against Borussia Dortmund, Hannover and Augsburg.
That saw Wolfsburg slip down to 10th place, five points off the top six, and with only three games left this season their chances of getting into Europe now look slim.
Nevertheless, Magath is still looking for a maximum points haul from their remaining games to finish the season on a high.
"That always has an influence on the summer, which is why it is important that we show good performances in our remaining games, regardless of Europe," he said.
"We still have the chance of qualifying for Europe with three games to go, but realistically, that has become more difficult after the defeat against Augsburg.
"After a terrible week with three games in it, our immediate aim is to get points again."
Beyond Friday night's trip to Mainz, Magath is already thinking about where his side can go next season.
"Our aim is to build a side which can consistently be one of the best in Germany," he said on his club's website.
"We have taken one step forwards and the next will have to follow next season.
"How big that step will be, I cannot predict."
Mainz will just be glad to be in the top flight again next term, although they still need another two points to guarantee their top-flight status.
Their coach Thomas Tuchel hopes to mark a centenary of matches on the Mainz bench with a result which gives them the security to plan for a fourth straight year in the Bundesliga.
"One point and the lid will be closed," he said. "We will do all we can to leave the field triumphant."
Mainz will have to do so without Bo Svensson and Marcel Risse while the Wolves arrive without Alexander Madlung and Yohandry Orozco due to illness.
Patrick Helmes and Mario Mandukic should lead the attack, though, according to Magath.
Latest Football News at 09:00 BST