The coaches’ post-match comments following VfL Wolfsburg’s 4-1 victory over 1. FC Köln.
Having watched their side lose three consecutive games prior to Saturday’s crucial clash with 1. FC Köln, Wolves fans were finally given something to shout about again on Matchday 34. Goals from Josuha Guilavogui, Divock Origi, Robin Knoche and Josip Brekalo not only helped VfL to a 4-1 win over the Billy Goats but also secured their place in 16th position in the Bundesliga standings. Bruno Labbadia’s charges will now need to beat Holstein Kiel over two legs to confirm their place in the top flight for a 22nd successive campaign. The first leg takes place at the Volkswagen Arena on Thursday 17 May (kick-off 20:30 CEST) before the second leg in Kiel on Monday 21 May (kick-off 20:30 CEST).
Bruno Labbadia: “We did what we had to do - win the game. Our objective was to do everything we could to get the win and not just a point. It was the right way to go about things. It was great that the opening goal fell so early, and scoring four goals gives us a boost that the boys really needed. We’ve been working very hard in training in recent weeks, especially this week. It was very important that the players felt comfortable despite our predicament. It’s a matter of confidence. We can train as hard as we like but we also need to experience that winning feeling. That’s why we’re happy with the victory today. We now need to turn our attentions to the game on Thursday. I know what to expect [from Kiel] but we did what we had to do today and it proved decisive.”
Stefan Ruthenbeck: “We started the game very badly by conceding the opener in the first minute. Apart from that, the first half was a very open affair. We felt at half-time that we could get something from the game and went close to going in front before they made it 2-1. [John Anthony] Brooks nearly put through his own net. Their second goal sort of sums up our season - it looked like we’d already cleared the danger. We didn’t close them down quickly enough and made simple mistakes, which they took full advantage of for their second goal. They did really well in the last 20 minutes, defending well, hitting us on the counter and causing us problems from set-pieces. They deserved to win the game because they finished strongly.”