Stuttgart - VfB Stuttgart may have begun the season in a rather stop-start fashion, but one constant they can count on is the goal threat of striker .
The Bosnia-Herzegovina international proved to be the difference for the club yet again on Matchday 9, as his late effort gave the Swabians a 2-1 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt to set Bruno Labbadia's charges up perfectly for a challenging week ahead.
Although the 28-year-old may be one of the main reasons for the club's rise to eighth in the Bundesliga table, it's the collective that counts in Stuttgart, as he told bundesliga.com in interview.
bundesliga.com: Vedad Ibisevic, what was the key to Stuttgart winning against Eintracht Frankfurt?
Vedad Ibisevic: We found the right balance between defence and attack. We knew we could make things happen going forward, but we were also convincing when we didn’t have possession. We performed our defensive duties really well and I think that was the key to an important win.
bundesliga.com: It was a tough game for you personally. You had to work extremely hard, but in the end you got your reward.
Vedad Ibisevic: It certainly wasn’t easy. I didn’t see that much of the ball, but I felt very good going in for 50/50 challenges. I knew a chance would come my way, it was just a case of waiting for it.
bundesliga.com: What did the team do better in this game compared to the last match against Hamburger SV?
Vedad Ibisevic: Like the game in Hamburg, we were compact as a team and we put a lot of focus on our defensive responsibilities. We didn’t worry too much about getting things right in the final third - in our team, that takes care of itself.
bundesliga.com: How important was it for Stuttgart to get the right result after such a strong performance?
Vedad Ibisevic: It was massively important. A draw would have been a disappointing result because we put so much into the game. There was also an element of fatigue in our team after the difficult match against FC Copenhagen in the Europa League.
bundesliga.com: Talk us through your goal…
Vedad Ibisevic: I’d been waiting for a cross like that the whole game. I managed to jump early enough and head the ball in the opposite direction to where the Frankfurt keeper was moving. It worked really well I think.
bundesliga.com:You are held in very high regard by your team-mates after scoring so many goals…
Vedad Ibisevic: Well yes, and it’s a great feeling. I’m really happy in Stuttgart and that gives me a lot of confidence. But it shouldn’t be forgotten that every player is important. I can’t do anything just by myself.
bundesliga.com: Awaiting you now is a DFB Cup clash against FC St. Pauli, followed by Borussia Dortmund in the league at the weekend, two difficult matches…
Vedad Ibisevic: That’s exactly right. We have to recover quickly, but we can’t think about the Dortmund game at all. First we have to beat St. Pauli. The DFB Cup is a great competition, and we want to go as far as we can.
Interview by Jens Fischer