Germany: Bundesliga
2 - 0
(1 - 0)
M. Diaby (30), J. Tah (82)
By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Xabi promises better football in 2023, Wehrle gives timetable for decisions on Wimmer and Mislintat

Speaking at his post-match press conference, Bayer 04 Leverkusen head-coach Xabi Alonso promised that his side would continue their upward trend once league play resumes in 2023. 

VfB Stuttgart sporting CEO Alexander Wehrle, meanwhile, covered a timetable for major administrative decisions when speaking to Sky Germany after the full-time whistle. 
Bayer 04 Leverkusen trainer Xabi Alonso has certainly earned himself a break. Since taking over for the sacked Gerardo Seoane on October 5th, the new head-coach has had to contest 10 fixtures in just a little over a month. Only once, courtesy of Leverkusen's early Pokal elimination, was Alonso able to get a full slate of midweek training sessions with the team in. Otherwise, the schedule has been non-stop.

Alonso's predominant emotion following Saturday's 2-0 win over Stuttgart was, understandably enough, one of exasperated relief. The Spaniard and his injury-ravaged team now have time to regroup and recover. When club football resumes in January, it should be the case that both Florian Wirtz and Patrik Schick are fit at ready to contribute.

"I was a bit nervous before the game," the gaffer conceded at his post-match presser, "We were in a somewhat precarious position after the win against Union and the emotional victory over Köln. Of course I'm happy with the result now."

"We finished the English week very well with three games and nine points," he continued, "Now we can have a short rest, but only a short one. Because then we have to keep working on ourselves. We were stable today. It wasn't the best football, but we gained some control of the game."

"In the second part of the season we want to continue climbing in the table," Xabi concluded, "Now we have more time to train to achieve this goal as well. And we will also use it!"

As for what happens next with Stuttgart, current interim trainer Michael Wimmer has made no secret of the fact that he wishes to coach the team on a permanent basis. Club sporting CEO Alexander Wehrle, speaking to the Sky mics after the loss, did laud Wimmer for winning all three of his home fixtures since taking over for the sacked Pellegrino Matarazzo on October 11th.

Wehrle, having made plenty of front-office changes recently, promised that there would be decisions on both Wimmer and current sporting director Sven Mislintat. The former Köln chief executive announced that he, Mislintat, and Wimmer would all discuss everything after a PR trip to the States that begins next Monday. Wehrle told Sky that this plan had been put together before the match.

"We have agreed that - completely independent of the outcome of the game - we will sit down together after the trip to the USA and then also make a decision," Wehrle noted, "we will make decisions after the trip to the U.S. I personally won't be traveling to Qatar. I will take care of VfB Stuttgart. That's the priority now."

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