As the Bundesliga's top-scoring German so far in 2017/18, Bayer Leverkusen forward Kevin Volland hasn't given up hope of playing his way back into Joachim Löw's plans in time for the FIFA 2018 World Cup.
Ahead of Bayer's Matchday 14 meeting with Borussia Dortmund, bundesliga.com caught up with the 10-time Germany international to discuss his blistering form, national team prospects and… ice hockey…
bundesliga.com: Kevin Volland, you're the current Bundesliga campaign's leading German marksman on eight goals. Are you happy with your tally so far?
Kevin Volland: It's going really well for me again this season. It's fantastic, but obviously there's a long way to go. That's why I'm going to continue to push myself and why I'm really looking forward to the coming weeks.
Watch: Kevin Volland fired Leverkusen past Frankfurt on Matchday 13
bundesliga.com: You've already scored more this term than in last season in its entirety when you netted six and went through the occasional goal drought. How did you get yourself out of the hole?
Volland: You always have to motivate yourself. When it's not going well, you have to tell yourself, 'you haven't lost your touch,' and when you're in a rut, 'I can do it, I've done it before and the goals will come'.
bundesliga.com: Leverkusen head coach Heiko Herrlich was a top striker in his time. Has he helped?
Volland: I think he was a very different striker to me. Even so, he's got so much experience that he can give us some invaluable tips.
bundesliga.com: The team are on a good run at the moment and currently occupy sixth place in the standings…
Volland: We've shown that we can beat and hang with any team, if we concentrate for 90 minutes and give it everything. We just need to be consistent.
bundesliga.com: It's almost a year since you last played for Germany. Do you still harbour hopes of going to the World Cup?
Volland: By playing well at club level, I'm doing my prospects no harm at all. I'd love to be back in the national team, but I'm a realist. I know that I have to perform here first and foremost and play consistently, if I'm to play for Germany again.
bundesliga.com: You played ice hockey as a kid, your Dad even played internationally. Do you still put your skates on sometimes?
Volland: I do! We head out on the ice once a year as a family - usually at Christmastime, when we book out an ice rink. My Dad can really play, my brother - they can all play. It's a lot of fun.
bundesliga.com: Have you got a favourite ice hockey team?
Volland: The New York Rangers are a great team. When I was younger, I had a Boston Bruins shirt. Back in the day, they were my favourite team.
Kevin Volland was talking to Andreas Cüppers