Dortmund - It was a first half of the season to forget for Borussia Dortmund and also for Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Without a single goal to his name, and not through a lack of chances, an injury then brought his year to a premature end.

He returns to action in 2015 with Dortmund inside the relegation zone and, despite being named Armenia's Footballer of the Year for a record fifth time, he does not have a lot of positives to look back on, even if he's trying to keep a positive frame of mind for the months to come.

In an exclusive interview, the 25-year-old playmaker talks about how BVB got into the position they are in, and how they can get out. Mkhitaryan, are you pleased given the first half of the season Dortmund have had that you now get a winter break?

Henrikh Mkhitaryan: Definitely. The winter break certainly comes at just the right time as it gives the team the chance to recharge our batteries and also to switch off entirely, which we need more than anything to be able to start the second half of the season full of motivation. For me personally, I've got the time I need to recover fully from my muscular injury so that I can also take part in our preparations in January.

'It's incredible the way we carry on struggling' What do you think are the main reasons for Dortmund's poor first half of the season?

Mkhitaryan: I think there are many reasons. Our world champions definitely needed a bit of time to get back to their best form and then we had an incredibly high number of injuries and that was a definite handicap. We also kept thinking that we would put together a run of wins, but it just never happened. We're now miles away from the top positions and we've reached the stage where we cannot concern ourselves anymore with what's going on up there and dream about Europe, for example. We've just got to ensure that we get back to winning ways straight away when the second half of the season starts so that we can get out of the danger zone as quickly as possible, otherwise it's just going to get grimmer. Why have you not been able to put a run of wins together?

Mkhitaryan: I think that it's purely in our minds. For example, after we got three points against Borussia Mönchengladbach, we clearly thought that we were also going to beat SC Paderborn. It's a lot of things all coming together - the injury problems, lack of self-confidence, refereeing decisions which didn't always go our way and so on, but it's incredible the way we carry on struggling.

'I just hope that things will go differently in 2015' Do you sympathise at all with Jürgen Klopp?

Mkhitaryan: We're all suffering through this crisis. The coach is trying to get us back on track with all of his might, but it's not easy. He's the one who can do the least in this situation. He's always there for us and it makes it all the more frustrating that we're not able to make him happier by winning games. It also saddens me a lot to see him like this. Personally, you've not scored a single goal despite having chances. What's the problem?

Mkhitaryan: That's something else which is in the head. I just need to celebrate one goal and then I'll start scoring more again. But either the opposition goalkeeper was always in the way or I made the wrong decision with my shot. I just hope that things will go differently in 2015.

Interview by Alexis Menuge