Vedad Ibisevic's seventh Bundesliga goal of the season made all the difference for Hertha Berlin against 1. FC Köln on Friday night.
bundesliga.com caught up with the 31-year-old Bosnia-Herzegovina international striker after the game to discuss the Old Lady’s first win of the year and their aims for the remainder of 2015/16.
bundesliga.com: Vedad Ibisevic, Hertha’s 1-0 win in Cologne takes you onto 39 points for the campaign. Can we congratulate you on being safe for another season?
Vedad Ibisevic: Yes, why not. Thanks.
bundesliga.com: The win consolidated third place...
Ibisevic: Consolidated? I see things a little differently, but that doesn't matter at the end of the day. For us it was important to win because we needed to build self confidence for the coming games.
bundesliga.com: In the first half, Hertha were dominant, you had a lot of possession and were strong in the challenge. What tipped the balance in Hertha’s favour?
Ibisevic: Everything you’ve said – we’ve shown that all season. We play good football and have a lot of possession. It wasn’t easy towards the end of the game because Köln put us under pressure, but now we’re just happy to have won.
bundesliga.com: Hertha are third in the standings. Are you already a top side or will that only be the case when you start to show the kind of performance you put in during the first half over the entire 90 minutes?
Ibisevic: That’s a question for the experts. I’m certainly not one of those.
bundesliga.com: Until today, all your goals had come in twos. What changed?
Ibisevic: It was our intention to score a second, but we missed the chance to do so in the second half. In the end, we just wanted to come away with the win and fortunately we were able to do that.
bundesliga.com: How difficult was it keeping a cool head after going five games without a win since the start of 2016?
Ibisevic: The pressure was slowly building for sure, but we’d played well in our last few games. We played good football in the first half against Köln and in the end, showed spirit and deserved to win.
bundesliga.com: You seem to like scoring against Köln, especially after scoring a brace in the reverse fixture...
Ibisevic: You could say that. It’s nothing against Köln, but it does look like they’ve been one of my favourite teams to play against this season.
bundesliga.com: What’s next? Will you be setting new goals? Is the Europa or Champions League on the agenda?
Ibisevic: We’re not going to get caught up in that. We’ve just won for the first time in the Rückrunde, we have to develop and see what the future holds.
bundesliga.com: You’ve got a midweek fixture at home to Eintracht Frankfurt in your immediate future. What do you expect from the game?
Ibisevic: Games against teams that are struggling are always tough. Eintracht really need the points - even more than we do. It’s going to be a difficult game.
Interview by Tobias Gonscherowski