Berlin - Borussia Moenchengladbach hope a home win over Werder Bremen on Friday will give them the necessary 'ketchup effect' to turn results around after the bitter taste of successive Bundesliga defeats.
Gladbach started the year fourth in the table, but January defeats at home to Borussia Dortmund and away to Mainz saw Andre Schubert's side drop to sixth and in danger of slipping out of the European places.
They were bottom of the table when Schubert took over in September after five straight defeats, but rocketed up the table by going unbeaten in Schubert's first 10 league games from mid-September to December.
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"Our recent games have gone very differently to how things went in the first half of the season," admitted sports director Max Eberl, with Gladbach having won just one of their last six games since their stunning 3-1 home win against leaders Bayern Munich in early December.
Gladbach lost 1-0 away to Mainz in Germany's top flight last Friday after wasting a string of chances while the hosts scored on a rare foray into the Borussia half.
"If we're being honest, we have to talk about having had 'a false start'," goalkeeper Yann Sommer said about Gladbach's two defeats at the start of 2016.
Norwegian defender Havard Nordtveit used an unusual phrase to explain that if Gladbach put in the same effort against Bremen as they did at Mainz, they stand a good chance of getting back to winning ways.
"If we again work hard, then we'll have the 'ketchup effect' against Bremen," he said.
"That's when everything all comes out at once.
"I am sure we will take the three points from the game against Bremen."
Viktor Skripnik's Bremen are third from bottom, but have shown plenty of fight in the relegation battle.
Werder returned from the winter break by beating Schalke 3-1 away, then fought back with two late goals from Peru veteran Claudio Pizarro to earn a 3-3 draw at home to third-placed Hertha Berlin last Saturday.
And Bremen have nothing to fear having already beaten Gladbach 2-1 at home last August in the league, then enjoying a dramatic 4-3 win at Borussia Park in the last 16 of the German Cup in December.
"They will certainly respect us, as we have beaten them twice this season already," said Bremen midfielder Fin Bartels.
"Let's see if we can't present something new there."