The 30-year-old (l.) grabbed his only league goal of the campaign in the Matchday 1 win at Borussia Dortmund
The 30-year-old (l.) grabbed his only league goal of the campaign in the Matchday 1 win at Borussia Dortmund

814 minutes and counting for nonplussed Kießling

Cologne - Without a goal in his last ten Bundesliga outings, Bayer 04 Leverkusen striker clearly has a lot of catching up to do.

'Dry patch'

A massive 814 minutes have come and gone since the six-time Germany international last hit the back of the net domestically, with the 2012/13 Torschützenkönig currently experiencing the longest barren spell of his career.

"It's not a burden as such, but it is annoying," Kießling told local newspaper Rheinische Post. "I've had chances to end the dry patch, but it's not happening for me. I don't want to just put it down to bad luck. It's just the goals that have been missing."

The 2014/15 campaign started brightly enough for the once habitual goalscorer, who opened his account in die Werkself's impressive 2-0 win away to Borussia Dortmund on Matchday 1. The 30-year-old frontman converted one of just two shots on goal at the Signal Iduna Park, but has failed to hit the mark with a single one of his subsequent 22.

'The goals will come'

"The last few weeks have been pretty intense," Kießling explained. "You're always thinking about the next game and you don't get to train much when you're playing every three days. Obviously it's good to refill the tank both psychologically and physically. It's tough as a striker […] but the goals will come again at some point."

The former 1. FC Nürnberg forward can find a degree of solace in the fact that nine of his 15 Bundesliga goals in 2013/14 and 18 of his league-high 25 strikes in 2012/13 came after Matchday 11. Enjoying a similar post-autumn glut this time round nevertheless comes with a caveat: keeping summer signing Josip Drmic out of the side.

'It's tough'

"He's got massive potential and he'll definitely live up to it in time, but right now it's difficult for him," Kießling acknowledged. "He's not playing much and then he gets his chance in an uncomfortable [DFB Cup] game . When you're 18 or 19, you're happy just to be involved, but when you've got a couple of years behind you as a professional, it's tough."

Despite scoring 17 times in his breakthrough Bundesliga season for relegated Nürnberg and netting on his solitary league start of the campaign at VfL Wolfsburg on Matchday 4, Drmic has otherwise spent the first four months in his new surrounds warming the bench. He patently has the pedigree to regularly hit the 15-plus-goal mark, but then so does Kießling - 56 league strikes in his last three seasons attest to that.

Christopher Mayer-Lodge