Munich - After a three-year absence, Boubacar Sanago is back and already making waves. The Ivorian netted his fourth goal in four Bundesliga 2 outings on Friday to catapult Energie Cottbus to the top of the table after a slender 1-0 win over FC Köln, and the 29-year-old is also top of the leading scorers chart.
The in-form striker made 100 Bundesliga appearances and netted 26 goals during spells at 1. FC Kaiserslautern, Hamburger SV, Werder Bremen und 1899 Hoffenheim, but this is the first time he's played in Bundesliga 2, and he's definitely making his presence felt. "I could probably have stuck it away myself, but Bouba was shouting so loudly I had to give him the ball", chuckled Sanago's strike partner Marco Stipermann after the game.
Speaking to bundesliga.com, Boubacar Sanogo explains how good preparation and the positivity of his coach are the reasons behind Energie's unexpected high-flying start.
bundesliga.com: Herr Sanogo, congratulations on the 1-0 win at FC Köln. How did you rate the game?
Boubacar Sanogo: It was an enthralling game. Köln played well and had a couple of chances, but we were a bit better. We were compact and tactically sound. Sure, a draw was also a possibility, but luck was on our side and we took the three points.
bundesliga.com: So, unlike Köln, with you in the team Cottbus had the end product?
Sanogo: Yes, it went really well. The goal is good for me and for the team,
bundesliga.com: Four games, four goals - that's a perfect start...
Sanogo: That's right. It's important that I'm always there for the team. It's always good to score, but the three points are the most important thing, and that's what we got.
bundesliga.com: Having picked up ten points from the first four games, Cottbus are high up in the table. What's so special about the team this year, that was perhaps missing in the previous season?
Sanogo: Our preparation was good. Everything's in place, and the guys are all fully focused on the task in hand. That's the most important thing. And the coach has brought a great atmosphere to the team. He always thinks positively, gets behind the players and communicates with them a lot.
bundesliga.com: What did trainer Rudi Bommer say to you when you signed - did he tell you what he expects from you?
Sanogo: He expects me always to be getting at defenders, to work for the team and never give up. If you think positively, the chances will come. He's done everything right.
bundesliga.com: How happy are you in Cottbus? What's the outlook this season?
Sanogo: I'm very happy. We've got a two-week break in Bundesliga 2 now. We're only concentrating on the next game - that's our focus.
Interview by Tobias Gonscherowski.