Munich - After getting their house back in order in the Bundesliga, VfB Stuttgart now turn their attention the UEFA Europa League as they bid to book their place in the last 16 with victory in Thursday night's second leg away to Belgian outfit KRC Genk (kick-off 19:00 CET).

Sunday’s 1-0 win over 1899 Hoffenheim was not only good for morale, it also ended a five-game losing streak in the Bundesliga for Bruno Labbadia’s men.

"Right direction"


“It was the first small step in the right direction,” said the club’s sporting director Fredi Bobic after Sunday’s much-needed win. The next should follow in Genk, where Stuttgart need either to win or play out a high-scoring draw to progress.

“I don’t care if we thrash them, get a high-scoring draw, or go to extra time,” said midfielder Christian Gentner as VfB took off from the Baden-Württemberg capital on Wednesday. “I’m optimistic we’ll go through.”

Optimism had been in rather short supply until Sunday. Conceding a last-gasp equaliser to Genk in last week's first leg was symptomatic of their current plight, but there are certainly promising signs on the horizon.

Gladbach next?


Stuttgart’s reward may be an all-Bundesliga clash with Borussia Mönchengladbach, should the latter see off S.S. Lazio in Rome, although nobody is getting carried away after just one league victory in 2013.

“We’ve got a really good chance,” said Sunday’s matchwinner Martin Harnik. “We’ve got to know that.”