VfL Wolfsburg have more than enough quality to break back into the top four, according to Dante.
The Wolves currently sit three points adrift of the coveted UEFA Champions League places, but the Brazilian defender is confident his side can iron out their inconsistencies and close the gap before the season is out.
bundesliga.com: What do you make of your points return after the 3-2 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt? Is it disappointing to see VfL Wolfsburg down in seventh, when last season they finished as runners-up?
Dante: Disappointing sounds a bit harsh to me, but we definitely hoped for more - that much is clear. You mustn’t forget that we’re also playing in the Champions League this season. Even though we’ve lost games recently, all is not lost because our direct rivals like Borussia Mönchengladbach, Bayer Leverkusen and Schalke are also dropping points.
bundesliga.com: What needs to happen for you to climb the standings?
Dante: It’s important that we go on a winning run to consolidate our place towards the top and that has to start this weekend at home to 1. FC Köln.
bundesliga.com: What goals have you set for the Rückrunde?
Dante: We want to play in the Champions League again next season. That’s our objective again and we can achieve it. We want to play better football than in the Hinrunde and show more consistency at the same time. We want to play better away from home because we’ve dropped too many points on the road so far. We played well in Frankfurt. We dominated, but we didn't make enough of our numerous scoring chances. That’s something we really have to get on top of.
bundesliga.com: You’ve been at Wolfsburg for five months. Are you happy with how you’ve integrated into the team?
Dante: Absolutely, but it’s never easy when you move to a new club. The style of play is completely different to at FC Bayern. I needed a certain amount of time to adapt, but now I feel completely integrated. It was definitely a good decision for me to join Wolfsburg.
bundesliga.com: How much potential does the team have?
Dante: We’ve got massive potential, that’s why seventh place isn’t good enough. In training, I see the massive quality we have and in all positions at that. In that respect, we can still achieve a lot this season. The 3-2 win at home to Manchester United in the group stage of the Champions League is proof of the quality we have.
bundesliga.com: You were on the receiving end of a lot of criticism in the media for some disappointing performances in the Hinrunde. Against Frankfurt you scored your first Bundesliga goal for the Wolves. Was that a way of answering the critics?
Dante: I’ve been involved in professional football for a while now, so I keep quiet and stay calm whether things are going well or not. I’ve got a lot of experience. And I don’t need the press to tell me if I’ve played well or if I've played badly.
bundesliga.com: What are your wishes for 2016?
Dante: Good health of course, that’s the most important thing. If we work hard, we can turn a corner with Wolfsburg and reach our goals. I’ve got no doubt about that.