Munich, November 8 - Skipper Daniel Bierofka explained how he and his TSV 1860 München colleagues "always believed" they could turn the tables despite going behind in their 2-1 victory over Alemannia Aachen on Sunday.
The Lions found themselves a goal down to Benjamin Auer's early strike, but found a way back into the game through Alexander Ludwig's thunderous finish and sewed up the points late on thanks to Benjamin Lauth's header. "I think it's down to the manager but also down to the character of the team," said midfielder Bierofka after the match. "We never gave up and we always believed we could get the win."
Reiner Maurer's charges moved up to sixth place in the table on the back of the victory, just five points off third and a promotion playoff spot. "We've been performing week in, week out so there's no reason we shouldn't be up there," said match winner Lauth, whose sixth goal of the campaign decided matters at the Allianz Arena with eight minutes remaining.
"Thing's didn't go quite as well as we'd hoped in the opening 20 minutes," added goalscorer Ludwig. "We conceded the goal but then we stepped it up. We didn't score [in those early stages] but we managed to create chances. Luckily we've always got 'Benny' to rely on." Lauth could and perhaps should have put the home side in front much earlier after being teed up by Ludwig shortly after the break. "We should have scored where I laid that one across, but he didn't connect properly and it's just one of those things," said Ludwig.
Another who came close for the Lions was Bierofka, who struck a post with a fine effort following a dazzling run down the left soon after Ludwig's equaliser. "I was aiming for the far corner but unfortunately it didn't come off. I'm getting closer, though, and I'm sure the goals will come," said the 31-year-old former Bayern München trainee.
Sunday's win meant 1860 maintained their record of having never lost at home to Aachen, whilst also extending their unbeaten run to eight matches. Yesterday's crowd of 22,300 was the club's biggest home gate of the season so far, as fans begin to sense the second-youngest squad in the league could finally push for a return to the big time.
Those hopes are likely to be fuelled or fired over the coming month as the men in blue and white contest a tough quartet of fixtures against high-flying opposition - Energie Cottbus, FSV Frankfurt, Greuther Fürth and Hertha BSC - which could make or break their promotion push.