Stuttgart - VfB Stuttgart might not have played the most stylish football of late, but recent achievements hint that Bruno Labbadia's men are back on track following five straight Bundesliga defeats immediately after the winter break.
The Swabians struggled to make it out of first gear in Wednesday's 2-0 DFB Cup quarter-final victory against Bundesliga 2 side VfL Bochum, but their progress to the last four gives reason for optimsim nonetheless.
The VfB players got the job done, downing a brave Bochum side in a hard-earned win thanks to goals from Christian Gentner and Vedad Ibisevic, with the latter finally ending his drought of 823 minutes without scoring in all competitions.
"It's a great result, but a number of things didn't quite work out for us," head coach Bruno Labbadia said after the game. "We had the right attitude, but weren't comfortable when in possession over the 90 minutes."
The win, however, served the south-western club's purposes, as they remain the only German side apart from FC Bayern Munich still participating in three competitions in the current season, having qualified for the last 16 of the UEFA Europa League at the expense of KRC Genk last week.
And, having now secured victories in three of their four most recent outings, Stuttgart are going into the forthcoming matches with renewed optimsim. "We're in the semi-finals now, among the top four, which is nice," said team captain Serdar Tasci. "Reaching the final is of course our goal - no matter who we'll be playing in the next round."
The semi-final draw will be made on Sunday, with VfL Wolfsburg, SC Freiburg or Bayern the possible opponents. However, there are more pressing tasks in the meantime, namely the chance to consolidate their new found consistency away to third-placed Bayer 04 Leverkusen on Saturday.