A few months ago it would have been ridiculous to suggest that Werder Bremen could get a result against Markus Weinzierl's FC Ausgburg, but when the two teams meet at the Weserstadion on Saturday afternoon, Bremen will be full of confidence.
"You can clearly see things are heading in the right direction"
- Zlatko Junuzovic
Viktor Skrypnyk's side have won their last four Bundesliga games, moving closer to a European spot than the possibility of relegation. This week, Die Werderaner received further good news, with winger Zlatko Junuzovic put pen to paper on a new contract until 2018. The Austrian, despite interest from other clubs across Europe, believed in what Skrypnyk is building with an eye towards future successes. "Werder has become a second home to me over recent years and you can clearly see that things are heading in the right direction," he said.
Bremen's director of sport, Thomas Eichin, was never in doubt about the possibility of securing Junozovic's signature, after the club's recent run of wins had taken them to eighth in the league, just six points adrift of the Europa league places. "We're really pleased that our optimism in recent days was not unfounded," he said. "We had some very good talks. Zlatko fully identifies himself with Bremen and he's going to continue making a name for himself here It's a positive signal for us in following the path we are on. He is one of the faces of Werder.''
Bremen's task does not get much more difficult than a visit from Augsburg - one of the Bundesliga's surprise packages this season. Weinzierl's side are a team in great form; with just two points dropped during 2015 they share third-place with Schalke 04 and will be looking to finish amongst the Champions League places come the season's close.
Weinzierl will be looking for his side to kick on after a 2-2 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt last week, and despite losing captain Paul Verhaegh to injury, the manager is confident he can field "a competitive side'' on Saturday, including Abdul Rahman Baba, who is back from the African Nations Cup. Their visit to Bremen promises to be a treat for the neutrals.