Leverkusen - The comeback kings Bayer 04 Leverkusen were at it again on Saturday to produce another four-goal performance, and this time with a 4-3 win over VfB Stuttgart to show for their miraculous powers of recovery.
Admir Mehmedi struck the decisive fourth against Stuttgart, putting the finishing touch to proceedings just as he had done to salvage a 4-4 draw against AS Roma in midweek. The Swiss forward was in high demand after the final whistle, but spoke exclusively to bundesliga.com about two 'crazy' games, the great morale within the team and his own role in Bayer's formidable attacking quartet.
bundesliga.com: Admir Mehmedi, congratulations on this 4-3 win over VfB Stuttgart and your winning goal. It seems like Bayer have become the specialists in dramatic games recently…
Admir Mehmedi: We'd rather avoid such dramatic games in future! For a fan it's certainly nicer not to have to bite your nails all the time, but it was a big win for the team's morale. We came back well from 2-0 and 3-1 down, but we have to analyse the mistakes which we committed once again and led to us conceding. We have to avoid them in future.
bundesliga.com: You've been Bayer's man for late goals this week: first the 4-4 against Roma and now this winner just minutes from time. How are you finding things in Leverkusen?
Mehmedi: I'd been working well in previous weeks too, but I wasn't getting many starts. I'm really happy that I was able to start again today. I think I'm heading in the right direction, although I have to keep improving every day.
bundesliga.com: You were also in the starting XI for Leverkusen's last Bundesliga win, against Bremen. Let's put it another way: when you start, Bayer win. Is that suggestive enough for your coach?
Mehmedi: Of course I've been disappointed not to start recently - every player wants to play, but unfortunately the coach can only field 11 men. I always tried to work hard and I'm happy with how things went today. Now it's important to find some consistency with my performances and play like this week in, week out.
Mehmedi: I'm an attacking midfielder by trade and I wouldn't call myself a striker as such. Things went well for us today, but we have to improve defensively as a team, like I've already said.
'It proves we're capable of scoring'
bundesliga.com: What happened after you went 3-1 down to enable you to bounce back once again?
Mehmedi: We just believed in ourselves the whole time. We had created chances in the first half, but didn't manage to turn any of them into goals. What's important is that we never gave up. I'm absolutely delighted to have managed to get a goal in the Bundesliga, though. We scored four again, which is crazy, but it proves that we're capable of finding the net.
bundesliga.com: How important was this win in order to keep in touch at the summit of the Bundesliga?
Mehmedi: We've improved our league position, but we're still a few points behind where we want to be. That's mainly because we've thrown some away lately, but I still think we're heading in the right direction.
bundesliga.com: Your game against Wolfsburg next weekend is going to be a rather decisive one now, isn't it?
Mehmedi: Absolutely not. We just have to focus on the DFB Cup game at Viktoria Köln on Wednesday and give it all we've got. Then we'll turn our attentions to Wolfsburg.
Admir Mehmedi was speaking to Tobias Gonscherowski.