Summary

  • Kalou finished Hertha's top scorer in 2015/16 on 14 goals.
  • "Working with Pal Dardai is going very well."
  • Is looking forward to playing in the Europa League.

Salomon Kalou is optimistic about Hertha Berlin's chances of shining in the Bundesliga again next season, but told bundesliga.com the capital club's fade to the finishing line in 2015/16 had been "a slight disappointment".

Pal Dardai's men appeared set to clinch a UEFA Champions League place with a top-four finish for much of the last campaign, but a dip in form in the finishing straight saw them slip to seventh come the final whistle on Matchday 34, leaving a slightly bitter taste in the Côte d'Ivoire international's mouth.

bundesliga.com: Salomon Kalou, is seventh place in the Bundesliga a disappointment or a success?

Salomon Kalou: If you had asked me that question nine months ago when the season started, I would have said that it was a great success, especially because the 2014/15 campaign had been difficult, and a top-ten finish would have been a good thing. However, given that we were third for several months, you could say that it's a slight disappointment. The last third of the season did not go as we had wished. I think we lost a number of matches through ill fortune, while in others we lacked a little bit of freshness.

30-year-old Kalou scored 14 goals in 32 Bundesliga appearances in 2015/16.

bundesliga.com: Given that, how do you see next season?

Kalou: I think it's vital to keep continuity so the club remains stable and consistent. With the technical staff, we already have a good basis. Of course there will be some changes in our squad, that's normal, but the spine has to stay the same so that come the start of the season we already have the understanding that allows us to have a good start in the league.

bundesliga.com: What will Hertha's aims be?

Kalou: We have a young, talented team, we can achieve something good. In the coming months, we really want to build on the positive dynamic we have. To do that, we'll have to work a lot bearing in mind our opponents will be well-prepared and will want to beat us. From third place down, the league is very even.

"We're going to have to work hard to finish in the top half."

bundesliga.com: And your own ambitions?

Kalou: Before each season, I set myself the target of ten goals. With such a tally, you can help your team have a good season. Before each game, I motivate myself in order to be able to push myself further, and that will again be the case during next season. In any case, I'm very proud and very happy to play for Hertha. Working with Pal Dardai is going very well. I feel the confidence he has in me all the time, and that does me good.

bundesliga.com: You're rather optimistic of having another good season then?

Kalou: I'm going to give my best and I firmly believe that we'll live up to expectations. We have a good, well-balanced team, and it's not planned that the key players leave. That's why we have cause for optimism, even if we're going to have to work hard to be able to finish in the top half.

The Ivorian (r.) appears to be thriving under Hertha head coach Pal Dardai (l.).

bundesliga.com: Are you happy to be playing in the UEFA Europa League again?

Kalou: For the first time since 2009/10, Hertha will be in European competition. That's wonderful for the club. I played in the competition with Lille, and we saw that it is increasingly attractive and taken seriously. But we have a long way to go given that we have one or perhaps two qualifying rounds before we can talk about playing in the group stage.