Stuttgart - It was worth the wait: An impressive 6-2 win for VfB Stuttgart over 1899 Hoffenheim gave the Swabians their first Bundesliga points of the season - and, in large part, had Vedad Ibisevic to thank for it.
The Bosnian striker's hat-trick takes him joint-top of the Bundesliga goalscoring chart, along with 1. FSV Mainz 05’s Nicolai Müller, on five strikes so far. Speaking after the Hoffenheim humbling, Ibisevic shared his thoughts with bundesliga.com about new head coach Thomas Schneider and moving on from a difficult start to the season.
bundesliga.com:Thomas Schneider has been your coach for almost a week and you’ve immediately picked up your first Bundesliga victory - what’s different?
Vedad Ibisevic: Obviously a change of coach is an upheaval for everyone involved at the club. We also played very well in the 2-2 draw with HNK Rijeka [in the UEFA Europa League play-offs] this week. Today's performance was a reaction to that game, and to our poor start to the season.
bundesliga.com: Has a lot of the problem been psychological? Is that the explanation for the improvement in performance - clearing your heads somewhat?
Ibisevic: I don’t know, and to be perfectly honest, it’s not that important how we explain it. All people can talk about now is our 6-2 victory. The win was built on the enthusiasm of our young players, they’re a joy to play with.
bundesliga.com: The attacking line between yourself up front and the holding midfielders William Kvist and Christian Gentner was completed by the lively trio Moritz Leitner, Alexandru Maxim and Timo Werner. Was that a key change and how did you feel playing in front of them?
Ibisevic: Well, we won 6-2 so it worked pretty well, wouldn’t you say? Maxim was particularly impressive, we could all see that.
bundesliga.com: In the recent home game against Bayer 04 Leverkusen there were 36 crosses without a goal, but with the short-passing experts Leitner and Maxim, you celebrated scoring three goals…
Ibisevic: True, but there was also an assist from Ibrahima Traore which was a cross. The system isn’t important - what we should focus on is putting a tough few weeks behind us, and getting back to enjoying our football, which we did well this week.
bundesliga.com: You’ve now been at Stuttgart for a year and a half, but are victories against your former club Hoffenheim (2007-12) more special for you?
Ibisevic: You know what? I enjoy scoring goals and my team winning - that’s what you can write.