First Team

“Improve week for week”

Returnee Lukas Nmecha in an interview before the home match against VfB Stuttgart.

VfL-Wolfsburg-Spieler Lukas Nmecha lächelt.

He’s finally back: the Wolves now have another option in attack after Lukas Nmecha made his long-awaited return from injury in last Saturday’s draw with Borussia Dortmund. Ahead of this weekend’s meeting with Stuttgart, Nmecha discusses his comeback, VfL’s current situation and their upcoming opponents.

Lukas Nmecha, you finally made your comeback after a long injury lay-off in the 1-1 draw against BVB. How are you doing?

Lukas: “I’ve grown in my belief, which helped me a lot in the circumstances. During rehab, you always concentrate on each next step. Now I’m back on the pitch, so it was all worth it. Hopefully I can now also improve my performance level week for week.”

How do you assess the team’s last two outings against Dortmund and Frankfurt?

Lukas: “I think we were good for large parts. We weren’t as calm in the closing stages against Frankfurt and went for more long balls than in the earlier periods of the game. We just have to regain our composure and confidence so that we can continue to play our football in the last 10 or 20 minutes – in other words, not just defending the lead but continuing to play forward with bravery. That would be my wish.”

Would it be particularly important for morale to finally get another win?

Lukas: “I think we, and the rest of the Bundesliga too, know what quality we have. We showed that against a top team like Dortmund and also Frankfurt, who are in a good position in the table. We’ve not looked inferior in the contests with these teams – in fact we’ve often had more chances and just need to make better use of them. And then we have to successfully shut up shop at the back, which unfortunately we didn’t manage against Frankfurt.”

Next up is Stuttgart, this season’s surprise package in third place. What do you make of the Swabians and how do you beat them?

Lukas: “They’re having a very good season. At the moment they have precisely that confidence that’s required: strikers who are scoring lots of goals and a defence that looks pretty steady. They’re also very good on the counter. I think we started very well in the reverse fixture but then capitulated a bit after [Serhou] Guirassy’s hat-trick. We’re certainly a different team now than we were then, though, and I’m very optimistic as far as this game’s concerned. I think we’ve got a very good chance of getting three points at home.”