Klopp urges Mainz fans to keep the faith as Bundesliga troubles deepen
Jurgen Klopp has encouraged fans of his old club Mainz not to give up on their side's Bundesliga survival hopes.
Liverpool manager Klopp guided Mainz to promotion in 2004 and said: "I will never forget this day."
Mainz, who lost long-serving sporting director Christian Heidel to Schalke in the summer, have had a tough season and five consecutive defeats have left them only one point above the drop zone.
Last week, a group of Mainz supporters travelled to Liverpool to meet Klopp, who rallied the fans in a video message.
"Why I was up for talking about the situation? It's just dead important to me," the manager, who played for Mainz before being appointed as coach in 2001, said.
"When I got asked about my biggest success in my career, everyone expected me to reply the domestic double at Dortmund. And yes, that was extraordinary and fantastic.
"But looking at our starting position in Mainz in 2001, then it was definitely May 23, 2004, when we won promotion. I will never forget this day."
Klopp appealed to the fans to back the players in their crucial forthcoming home game against Hertha Berlin.
"The people are no longer aware of their responsibility and Mainz was the city where every single person, in the stadium or in front of the TV, was involved in the fight to achieve sporting goals. I loved that," he said.
"We took more knocks than maybe most of the other clubs but we all came out of the situation stronger.
"Since I will one day return to Mainz to live there, I'd be delighted if it were a still a Bundesliga city.
"I hope that everyone knows what's at stake. We all know that football is not the most important thing in the world, but it's a wonderful way of celebrating success together and also sometimes suffer defeats.
"Nobody's shown that better than Mainz -- and thus I'd say get up, buy a ticket and shout your heart out. All of Mainz for one goal!"
Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.