- Dante says entire Wolfsburg team disappointed after finishing eighth.
- Praises attitude and approach of head coach Dieter Hecking.
- Vows improvement in 2016/17.
After digesting the disappointment of VfL Wolfsburg's eighth-placed finish, Brazilian defender Dante told bundesliga.com how he and the Wolves intend to right the wrongs of 2015/16 in the coming campaign.
bundesliga.com: Dante, what do you think needs to happen in order for Wolfsburg to be involved towards the top of the table again next season?
Dante: First, I think we have to use the summer break to recuperate as best we can. You have to say 2015/16 was a long season and it wasn't alway easy, but we'll be ready to go again as soon as we start pre-season training. There's no doubt in my mind we're all hungry for success and will give everything to meet our high expectations.
"Originally, we'd set our sights on a place in Europe."
bundesliga.com: Do you think there will be big changes to the squad over the summer?
Dante: Naldo's gone, so that's an integral part of the side. Now it's about finding a suitable replacement for him because he's not just a top central defender, but he's also a big personality. It's always good to freshen things up to provide fresh impetus, though, and I'm sure the powers that be will put together a strong side.
bundesliga.com: How would you sum up Wolfsburg's season?
Dante: In the end, we only finished eighth. That's obviously disappointing because originally we'd set our sights on a place in Europe, after finishing runners-up and winning the DFB Cup a year earlier. We wanted to be Bayern's nearest challengers again. We didn't get near that. Now we just have to draw the necessary conclusions from this season and make sure we're able to meet our objectives next term.
bundesliga.com: Nine months after moving to Wolfsburg from FC Bayern München, what's the verdict on working under Dieter Hecking?
Dante: Dieter Hecking really values discipline. He's a very meticulous coach who pays a lot of attention to detail. He makes it clear when something's not right and speaks to you privately. He's down-to-earth, genuine and honest. Although he was just as disappointed as we were with our results in the Bundesliga, it was down to his energy and passion that we made history by reaching the quarter-finals of the Champions League. There aren't many teams in Europe that beat Real Madrid by two goals.
bundesliga.com: Are you happy with your own performances this season?
Dante: Much like the team, I had good spells, but also moments where I didn't fulfil expectations. I'm well aware of that. First and foremost, that was down to having to get used to new surroundings, but I also lacked consistency. I hope I'll do better next season.
Interview by Alexis Menuge