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bruno labadia
Two years after leaving Hertha BSC, Bruno Labbadia is now on the pitch with VfB Stuttgart. © David Indian Song / dpa

Before entering his second term as coach of VfB Stuttgart, Bruno Labbadia expects a very difficult relegation battle in the Bundesliga.

Stuttgart – “We have a marathon ahead of us. It’s going to be a stubborn race, and our competitors are getting better too. We have to be prepared for the fact that it will be a hot race until the last day of the game,” said the 56-year-old.

Before the first Bundesliga game after more than two months of World Cup and winter break on Saturday (15:30 / Sky) against 1. FSV Mainz 05, VfB is in the relegation spot. “I have great respect for the relegation battle because a lot of things play a role that you can’t influence. And I’m a person who likes to be in control,” said Labbadia: “We still have to be optimistic and cheer for people to accept that.”

For former striker Labbadia it is his first Bundesliga match almost exactly two years after his departure from Hertha BSC. He coached Stuttgart from December 2010 to August 2013. At that time he initially saved VfB from going to the second division. Under the predecessor Pellegrino Matarazzo, the Swabians only managed to stay in the league on the last matchday of the 2021/22 season. dpa

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