Schalke 04 defender Benedikt Howedes has admitted it was a "big relief" to record a 1-0 victory over TSG Hoffenheim on Friday evening.
Cameroonian forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting netted the all-important goal in the first half, and the Royal Blues were able to hold on to claim all three points despite a spirited fightback from the visitors.
It was certainly a hard-fought victory as Schalke recorded their eighth win of the campaign to remain withing touching distance of the Champions League places.
When asked for his assessment of the result, Howedes told DFB.de: "It's obviously a big relief for us. We struggled, but the three points are what matters in the end.
"We can now enter the winter break with a positive mindset and enjoy Christmas before returning to prepare for the second half of the season.
"We still have areas where we need to improve, but overall we can be quite happy with what we've achieved so far."
Howedes has this week entered into contract negotiations with the Bundesliga outfit, and was asked how the discussions have progressed.
He added: "Each side offered their view of things. Everyone expressed their ideas and visions and now we'll sit down for more talks.
"There are always things that need to be discussed further, while other areas are agreed upon already. What can I say?
"I have neither signed a new contract, nor have I declined to sign one. I will listen to what they have to say and then decide what is best for both sides.
"We will take as much time as we need. We don't want to rush into anything but instead continue with this good dialogue. We are not in a rush."