Stuttgart - The importance of his match-winning effort was not lost on after he netted the only goal of the game in Borussia Mönchengladbach's hard-fought victory over VfB Stuttgart.

After his 71st-minute strike lifting the Foals into third and keeping them on the heels of VfL Wolfsburg, caught up with the German winger to get his thoughts on a 'Man of the Match' performance, his current form and Gladbach's challenge at the top of the table. Patrick Herrmann, today's 1-0 win has earned you all three important points. How difficult a game was it to win?

Patrick Herrmann: It certainly wasn't an easy win. We started the first half very well and could have taken the lead early on. Then Stuttgart settled more and became stronger defensively. We found it increasingly difficult to break them down, but as soon as they started to come at us, we showed our class by hitting them on the break. The win was almost snatched from you at the death when Georg Niedermeier hit the crossbar. What did you think in that moment?

Herrmann: My heart really sank. When your opponents throw everything forwards and play long balls, things like that can always happen. Let's just say we got lucky in the end.

'There's still a long way to go' Your winning goal was expertly executed. Explain to us how it went from your point of view…

Herrmann: We played a quick counter-attack and Branimir Hrgota threaded the ball through to me. I took it first time and was lucky that it went in. I'd actually aimed for the far corner so I'm just glad it went in. The goalkeeper got a touch, but that doesn't matter. Is that the mark of a top team, to have dominated the first half to such an extent but then only scored the winning goal late on?

Herrmann: You've always got to be patient and hope you'll get the winning goal right to the end. That's what we did, and certainly it was good for us. It's a good start to the second half of the season for you personally with this goal. How do you rate your own current level of performance?

Herrmann: Of course I'm really happy, also because I've had a good mid-season preparation. But there's still a long way to go in the second half of the season and we've still got a lot to come. Now you have SC Freiburg at home in midweek. They've had a good start to the year with a 4-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt. What does that mean for you?

Herrmann: It doesn't make it any easier for us. It's always been hard in Freiburg and certainly playing them at home's also going to be a hard nut to crack. What does this win mean in light of the coming weeks?

Herrmann: It's always great to start well as it gives you self-confidence, especially when you consider that Stuttgart gave it everything as well.

Interview by Jens Fischer