Düsseldorf - A well-earned 2-0 win over Hamburger SV saw Fortuna Düsseldorf bring an end to a seven-match winless run on Friday night, as 24-year-old Robbie Kruse took the plaudits once again after another inspired display in midfield.
"One or two newcomers haven't quite delivered, whereas Robbie Kruse has surpassed all expectations," sporting director Wolf Werner said of the in-form Australian, scorer of Fortuna's opening goal, who caught up with bundesliga.com after the game.
bundesliga.com: Congratulations on another stand-out performance, Robbie. That was a great goal.
Robbie Kruse: Yeah, it was good. I was a little fortunate. It took a small knick off the defender, but I'm just happy that we finally got a win. There has been a lot of pressure on us. It's good for the confidence.
bundesliga.com What did you make of Fortuna's performance?
Kruse: We played really well on the counter and created some good opportunities. Fortunately we scored and finished our chances well. The most important thing is that we got the three points. I think we really deserved it. We played some good football. If you look at the last three games we maybe could have had three wins out of the three games. But we haven’t. We put the disappointment of Sunday's defeat against Bremen behind us and now we’ve given ourselves confidence before the game against Borussia Dortmund because we know that's going to be extremely difficult.
bundesliga.com: How important was the win against Hamburger SV?
Kruse: Of course it was important. We started the game third from bottom. We haven't won in a long time. So it was crucial to get the three points. I think we played well in front of our own fans.
bundesliga.com: What did you make of your goal?
Kruse: It was a little bit lucky, but if you don’t shoot you are not going to score. Fortunately it went in.
bundesliga.com: Are you now Fortuna's goal-getter?
Kruse I don’t know about that. I could have had one last week. I'm glad to be getting in the right positions. Hopefully we can keep scoring, but most important is the team winning.
bundesliga.com: Next up you travel to Borussia Dortmund. How difficult is it going to be against the champions?
Kruse: Of course it's going to be difficult. All we can do is go there and do our best. If we win, we win. If we don’t, there is always another game after that. We will enjoy this win tonight and then we can look forward to the Dortmund game tomorrow.
bundesliga.com: Why do you think you're playing so well in the Bundesliga when you struggled to break into the starting eleven in the Bundesliga 2 last season? Is your game better suited to the Bundesliga?
Kruse: No. Last season I just kept working hard. Fortunately I have been playing a lot more this campaign. Hopefully I can keep at it, keep progressing and keep doing my best for the team.
bundesliga.com: How has coach Norbert Meier helped you?
Kruse: He's talked a lot to me. The main part of my game is running at defenders one-on-one. He's given me license to do that.
bundesliga.com: How are you regarded in Australia? Are you a star there?
Kruse: No. Football is not the biggest sport in Australia. But I have a lot of family and friends and a lot of people who watch football and support me. Hopefully I am doing the people in Australia proud. Hopefully more fellow Australians will come over to the Bundesliga.
Interview by Tobias Gonscherowski