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Toe Poke
By ESPN Staff

Labbadia back to winning ways

Stuttgart coach Bruno Labbadia was able to breathe a sigh of relief on Saturday after his side bounced straight back from defeat to Kaiserslautern last weekend to move clear of the relegation zone with a 3-1 win at Cologne on Saturday.

Stuttgart are now four points clear of the Bundesliga relegation zone with four games remaining and Labbadia heralded the "crucial win''.

"We wanted to show a reaction and the team had worked hard during the week for this,'' he said. "We said at half-time that we wanted to increase the pressure and we managed it.

"It was a really crucial win, but we are only winners when we have actually avoided relegation.''

Cologne are now also involved in the relegation battle with just one point more than Stuttgart, and their coach Frank Schafer is slightly concerned that his side has not fully understood the severity of the situation.

"This is not the way to survive in a relegation battle,'' he said.

Cologne were beaten 5-1 by Borussia Monchengladbach last weekend and this latest defeat leaves them psychologically worse for wear than several of the teams below them.


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