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Werder Bremen give Alexander Nouri breathing space … for now | Andy Brassell

Nouri was right to provide perspective after his side beat Mönchengladbach, calling it ‘a small step in the right direction. Many more,’ he added, ‘have to follow’

After the ride he’s had to endure since the Bundesliga restart, perhaps it’s unfair to expect Alexander Nouri to raise one eyebrow and drop a Mourinho-esque quote at the end of the game, even if it did bring victory. “You get perfection in the Chinese State Circus,” he reasoned after his team’s 2-0 win at Mainz gave everybody involved with the club a chance to exhale. Clunky, maybe, but most coaches who have been in a similar situation could probably empathise.

Either way, Saturday’s win was exactly what Werder Bremen needed – and exactly what Nouri needed, with the sporting director, Frank Baumann, ostensibly having backed him after last week’s loss to Borussia Mönchengladbach, even if he declined to go as far as to guarantee him a job on the other side of it, depending on the result. Baumann, a stalwart in the spine of the Bremen side that won the 2004 Bundesliga/Pokal double, called this “a real win,” and said it was, full of determination, “team spirit” (in Nouri’s words) and no little measure of enterprise.

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