Mario Gomez is confident that VfB Stuttgart can pull clear of relegation danger in the Rückrunde, with winter signings Steven Zuber and Alexander Esswein making the Swabians as strong as any side apart from league leaders Borussia Dortmund and champions Bayern Munich.
Gomez plundered nine Bundesliga goals for Stuttgart last season – eight of them coming in the second half of the season – following his return to the club from Wolfsburg, as his side missed out on European qualification by just two points.
This campaign has so far has been less kind to the former Germany striker and his club, although five goals for a team who came into the winter break in 16th is a respectable haul for the 33-year-old.
Coach Markus Weinzierl has nonetheless chosen to reinforce his squad, with Zuber and Esswein arriving on loan from Hertha Berlin and Hoffenheim respectively, and providing extra width and pace for the Stuttgart attack.
“I’m so looking forward to the second half of the season,” Gomez told German sports daily Kicker from the club’s training camp in La Manga, Spain. “With these two full-throttle players I’m 1,000 percent convinced we’ll stay up.”
“It’s not all about about me, any player who helps us fight for survival is welcome. They’ll be very motivated. From what I’ve seen, they’re full throttle, very strong and fast.
“I respect every team in the league, but we can win every match except perhaps the ones against Bayern and Dortmund.”