“Better to win ugly than play well and not win”

The reaction to the win against Stuttgart

There was a mixture of joy and relief in the celebrations after the game. (Photo: nordphoto).
first team
Saturday, 02.12.2017 // 18:19 Uhr

A murmur of discontent was heard around the Weserstadion as the fourth official raised his board to indicate there would be a minimum of four added minutes at the end of the game. “I’ve heard that you should move a lot to combat ageing, and that’s what I did,” responded head coach Florian Kohfeldt after the game, when asked if the injury time after today’s match made him grow any grey hair. “From the touchline, I tried to get the last percent out of the boys, but I don’t think they were paying much attention to me,” said Kohfeldt with a smile. After various corners, crosses into the Bremen box and one final VfB chance through Terodde, Werder brought their second consecutive home win over the line. Unsurprisingly, relief and joy was tangible after the final whistle…

On the game:

Florian Kohfeldt celebrated his second win of the season after a tense 90 minutes. (Photo: nordphoto).

Maxi Eggestein: “There’s a lot of relief; it was a hard-fought game. Stuttgart played very aggressively, but I don’t think they had many clear cut chances. Taking the lead did us good and gave us security. That’s why we were able to attack with such confidence in the second half. In the end, Stuttgart were really pilling on the pressure and we had to defend with a lot of concentration until the final whistle.”

Fin Bartels: “I’m just happy that we managed to win the game with a lot of fight and passion. We held our own from the start against a strong Stuttgart side and played with confidence. VfB defended well and it wasn’t easy to find gaps. For the goal, Max and I were just really switched on and took advantage of the situation. Max’s finish was ice cold. In the final minutes, we were forced to hold out breath – that was not nice for the nerves.”

Ludwig Augustinsson: “We’re not satisfied with how we played today. We obviously want to play good football, but today it was only about the three points. We gladly accept the ugly win.”

Milos Veljkovic: “A 1-0 lead is always dangerous, so it was a tense game right until the end. Stuttgart defended aggressively against the ball from the first minute, they were up for the fight and caused us problems particularly in the second half. However, we fought through, remained concentrated and brought home a very important, if not ugly win.”

Philipp Bargfrede: “It was definitely a hard-fought win today. There’s no use in playing well and then scoring no points like in Leipzig. In our situation, I prefer to win without playing well. Today, we performed better and our game was more convincing.”

Frank Baumann: “Running hard and showing fight are just the basics, what’s important is what you do with the ball. Today, that aspect didn’t really work out, because Stuttgart didn’t allow us much space. VfB did well and we had to fight through.”

Florian Kohfeldt: “I’m satisfied and relieved about the win, which wasn’t undeserved despite Stuttgart’s chances. We had problems in our attacking positional play, partly also in our defensive play and we didn’t execute our counterattacks that well, but we compensated for all of that with our passion. It’s about showing complete willingness, even when not everything is working perfectly. Across almost the whole pitch, Stuttgart defended man-on-man, but we were able to open space through one-on-ones once or twice. We carved out key moments and used them – that’s exactly what we spoke about before the game.


Referee Bastian Dankert ruled out Fin Bartels' goal after consulting with the video assistant referee. (Photo: nordphoto)

Maximilian Eggestein: “I don’t know how I’d feel if we hadn’t have won because of it, but the decision was right so it’s fair. The decision could, however, come a bit more quickly next time, but the most important thing is that the correct decision is taken. Therefore, I’d say it’s completely fine.”

Fin Bartels: “It was a strange situation. We were celebrating, happy about the goal and then suddenly it was ruled out. Nevertheless, I trust it was the correct decision, but the goal would have given us much more calm and security at that point in the game.”

Milos Veljkovic: “It’s not a nice feeling after a goal to stand there and have to endure that, but I’m sure the referee made the right decision if he saw the replay. In my opinion, it was positive that we carried on playing with concentration.”

Philipp Bargfrede: “After the video replay, we knew we had to concentrate on the game again and that’s what we did. That was important and positive.”

Florian Kohfeldt: “If it’s about a clearly wrong decision, I’m still convinced that video replays are right. I found it somewhat strange though that it took so long after the goal. After two minutes we were all in our positions and then the goal wasn’t given. That tarnishes the experience of watching football in a stadium in my eyes. Additionally, we were also already back in our own half. Maybe the referee should have given us time to get into position for the free kick. But I don’t have a solution, so I don’t want to criticise too much.”

Frank Baumann: “I didn’t see the goal live nor on TV, so I can’t comment. Because it concerns an offside goal, I think it’s okay that the decision was reversed.”

On the situation ahead of the tough away games:

Augustinsson and Co. ground out the second home win in a row. (Photo: nordphoto).

Fin Bartels: “The win today was important for our survival, in order to keep up with the other teams ahead of us. At the moment, it seems we’re regaining the bit of luck that we were missing at the start of the season, when everything also certainly wasn’t bad. We face Dortmund next, who, despite their current problems, still have an extremely good team. We’ll play with confidence and then see what happens.”

Milos Veljkovic: “We approach every game in the same way, no matter who we play. That’s what the coach had instilled into us – whether we face BVB, Stuttgart or Bayern. In Dortmund, we want to be concentrated from the first minute and get a good result.”

Florian Kohfeldt: “I’m really looking forward to Dortmund. It’s one of the best places in Germany, if not worldwide, to play football. It will be, exactly like the game against Leverkusen, a tough task, but I’m sure we can get something if we play with the passion we had today.”

Frank Baumann: “Dortmund are not going through the best phase at the moment, but that also means they could turn that round at any point. We’ll travel to two absolutely top opponents with courage. We haven’t picked up enough points so far so we have to take something from Dortmund or Leverkusen.”

On the reliable Jiri Pavlenka:

Fin Bartels: “Jiri is an incredible goalkeeper. Because of the language barrier he doesn’t talk too much, but that’ll get better. The most important thing is that he’s always there when we need him.”

Ludwig Augustinsson: “He’s having a very good season and saved us again today in one or two situations, above all at the end.”

Milos Veljkovic: “Jiri is improving game after game. We can rely on him completely. He’s quiet, but can also be very aggressive and loud.”

Florian Kohfeldt: “Again, it was a super game from him. It’s great to have a goalkeeper in the team like him. He makes key saves, like before our opener, so today we’ll reward him with a small piece of chocolate (laughs).”

Maxi Eggestein: “The situation in the first half was a misunderstanding between me and him. Luckily, it turned out well. When I slid in, I knew I’d be sent off if I touched the opponent and I hesitated a little. In the end, I had to take the risk and I’m very relieved that it worked out.”