Freiburg - After supplying two goals in VfB Stuttgart's 4-1 win at SC Freiburg on Friday night, Martin Harnik said he was numb to the pain of the cuts and bruises of battle, admitting it took a stern half-time team-talk from returning coach Huub Stevens to stir them into action.
bundesliga.com has the post-match reaction from the Schwarzwald-Stadion...
It was an intense game and my calf and shoulder hurt a bit, but after a game like this, you can cope with these knocks. We didn't play well in the first half and we were lucky to be 1-0 up because we could easily have been behind, but we fought well in the second half and then punished Freiburg's mistakes. Of course the coach raised his voice at half-time and he wasn't happy, but we've won 4-1 and, given the way we responded in the second half, we deserved it.
We knew it would be a real battle here for 90 minutes and we had to make sure we didn't make mistakes. Our self-confidence is obviously not so high, but I'm delighted we played such a good game and I think we deserved the win. My job is to prove to the coach I can help us win games, and I'll carry on doing that. We worked hard, the coach has said a lot to us and told us what we need to do and we did what he asked. We prepared for the game as best we could. I was carrying a knock and it's worsened slightly, but I'll just have a few days off now and it will be fine.
We wanted to defend well and play on the counter. We did that well today and that's what made the difference. [Huub Stevens] places a lot of importance on our defensive and attacking organisation. We're able to put his counter-attacking football into action. That's essentially the difference so far […] I'm happy that I was able to play a part in a win for the team today.
We obviously knew the coach already and he got across his message really well. he said we're always good for a goal but we need to be more solid defensively, and we managed to do that over long periods. We showed that we still have life left in us today and that's really important.
Congratulations to the team because this was a really important win, especially after the turbulent week we've had. The coach has come in and done a great job so far. The first half was a bit shaky from us but in the second half we found our feet and I think we deserved to win it.
The way we played in the second half is really not on and we can't be surprised with the result. We did well in the first half, but then we fell apart. We just lacked concentration for a second and you saw what happens when you do that against a quick team like Stuttgart. The opening goal was stupid and it's sad that after such a good first half, here we are without any points to show for it.
In the first half we could have been 3-1 up but we didn't take our chances and also made mistakes at the back. We conceded the goals in the second half and you can't come back from that.
We should have been two or three up in the first half but we made mistakes and they took advantage clinically, and after the red card the game was done and dusted. We played some good football but that doesn't get you points.