Stuttgart are a step closer to the UEFA Europa League group stages after yesterday's 3-2 victory at Molde in the first leg of their third qualifying round tie, but coach Christian Gross believes there is substantial room for improvement.
According to the Swiss coach, the tie should already have been over ahead of the return leg in Stuttgart next week. "Pavel Pogrebnyak should have decided matters in the first half and he and Ciprian Marica also had big chances in the second half," he said on his club's website.
"If they had taken them, then we would have had a more relaxed evening. We are still in the middle of our preparations and must keep working hard."
Gross is now looking forward to getting his full squad back together to give them a further boost for the second leg. He said: "It is important that the remaining World Cup players return - that gives us stability. We have got to put them under more pressure in the second leg and commit fewer errors."
Should Stuttgart complete the job over their Norwegian opponents next week, they will enter the draw for the final qualifying round as one of the seeded teams. The draw takes place on Friday 6 August.