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Preparation, 11. January 2019

Staying positive

VfB Stuttgart need to head into the second half of the season in a positive frame of mind in order to be successful again, according to Mario Gomez.

For the past seven days, Gomez and his colleagues have been preparing for the second half of the 2018/19 campaign in La Manga, Spain. “The legs are heavy - they should be after recent days,” said the veteran striker. “We’ve made perfect use of our time here so far.”

The VfB players and coaching staff have not only used their time in Spain to work hard on the training pitch, but also to analyse the situation away from the pitch and to lay the foundations for a successful second half of the season. This is their first real opportunity to do so since the appointment of Markus Weinzierl as head coach at the start of October, as players and staff were busy preparing for VfB’s next Bundesliga games before the winter break. “We’ve reviewed things that didn’t go so well during the first half of the season, while the head coach has also revealed his ideas and thoughts for the second half of the campaign,” said Gomez.

“We’re aware that a lot of our games weren’t great,” the striker continued. “We had a lot of problems and now we don’t have enough points, but it’s about keeping our chins up and staying positive, even if it’s more difficult to do so in situations like ours.” Gomez is determined to help his team-mates make a positive start to the second half of 2018/19 in order to give themselves some breathing space in the battle to avoid relegation and reduce the pressure on the team. The 33-year-old feels VfB have already shown what they are capable of this season. “I’m convinced we won’t be relegated,” he said. “But people mustn’t assume that we’ll play as well in the second half of this season as we did in 2017/18. That was a special situation. It looks like it’ll take longer to secure our top-flight status this season. Everyone needs to be prepared for this situation - the team, the staff and the fans.”