Hecking labels De Bruyne 'exceptional'

Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking labelled Kevin De Bruyne 'exceptional' as his team stormed into fourth in the Bundesliga.

Hecking's team recovered from conceding an early goal to Nuremberg on Saturday to triumph 4-1 with De Bruyne setting up Wolfsburg's first two goals.

The victory took Wolfsburg to 50 points, which saw them leapfrog Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen into fourth in the German league table.

Fourth spot includes a berth in the qualifying rounds of next season's UEFA Champions League but Leverkusen could push Wolfsburg out on Sunday if they defeat Hertha Berlin.

De Bruyne notched his sixth assist since joining Wolfsburg from Chelsea in January and Hecking credited the 22-year-old Belgian midfielder for leading his side back into the contest.

"That was a great game for us this afternoon, although the beginning once again didn't go as we had hoped it would," Hecking said.

"It's not the first time that we have conceded an early goal at home this season and that just shouldn't happen.

"We got back into the game quickly though and it was then clear to see that we can play very good football – especially Kevin De Bruyne, who was exceptional."

Nuremberg took the lead in the eighth minute with a powerful strike from Markus Feulner but Wolfsburg equalised 11 minutes later when De Bruyne slid a pin-point pass to Ivica Olic for the Croatian striker to score.

The home side were ahead in the 22nd minute as De Bruyne released Ivan Perisic down the left and the winger delicately chipped Nuremberg goalkeeper Raphael Schafer.

Junior Malanda made it 3-1 for Wolfsburg in the 69th minute, while De Bruyne played a role in the lead-up to Perisic's second goal with eight minutes remaining.

Hecking was thrilled with Wolfsburg's performance ahead of their DFB Pokal semi-final on Tuesday.

"On the whole, it was a very good performance from us, which keeps all of our options open in the league," the 49-year-old coach said.

"We are very happy about that. We are all really fired up for the game on Tuesday. I hope the guys can play as well as they did today – then it could be a wonderful cup night."