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"Two of our best performances – and at such a decisive moment"
VfL Wolfsburg coach Bruno Labbadia and his Holstein Kiel counterpart Markus Anfang offered their thoughts after the Wolves' 1-0 win on Monday secured a 4-1 aggregate triumph in the relegation play-off, confirming a place in the top flight next season.
Labbadia described the efforts over two legs in the relegation play-off against Kiel as the Wolves' "best performances" under his stewardship, meaning the planning for next season can now begin in earnest. Following a 3-1 win in the first leg at the Volkswagen Arena, Labbadia's troops made certain of a Bundesliga berth for the 2018/19 campaign with a 1-0 triumph in Kiel thanks to Robin Knoche's late header.
Bruno Labbadia: "First up I'd like to congratulate Holstein Kiel on a fantastic season and for their efforts against us over two legs. Of course, we're pleased to have produced [two of] our best performances - and at such a decisive moment in the season. The hard work in the last few weeks has paid off. We made good use of the ball against a team that also likes to have the ball and managed to shut them out. We allowed them no real chances over 90 minutes and were in the right place at the right time to finish things off clinically. Judging on the performances over two legs, we deserve to stay in the Bundesliga. We're pleased about that."
Markus Anfang: "Congratulations to Wolfsburg for staying in the Bundesliga. In the first leg we had to adapt a little bit, and we perhaps could have scored once or twice more. If we'd done that, the situation coming into the second leg would have been different. We played well, though, and I thought we were the better team. If Aaron Seydel makes it 1-0 straight after the break – when [Koen] Casteels makes a really good save – then it could have become really tense. I have to praise my team for their efforts over the whole season. The performances they've produced time and again were by no means a given; Wolfsburg then had two really good days, and we only had one. I'm sad that we couldn't get what we deserved today. I don't necessarily mean promotion, but just a win in the second leg."