Stefan Kießling's inspired display against Cologne helped secure Leverkusen's top-flight status. - © © gettyimages
Stefan Kießling's inspired display against Cologne helped secure Leverkusen's top-flight status. - © © gettyimages

Kiessling believes Leverkusen have brighter future after securing Bundesliga status

Bayer Leverkusen secured their top-flight status with their best home display of 2017, coming from 2-0 down to secure a precious point in their Rhine derby with Cologne. Veteran forward Stefan Kießling, who put in an inspirational display, is convinced Die Werkself have brighter days ahead.

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Question: Stefan Kießling, when you get a kiss from the sporting director in the mixed zone, the sense of relief must be great in Leverkusen…

Stefan Kießling: What the team showed over 90 minutes was incredible. We allowed them two shots on goal and both of them went in. It was a real setback to us on the pitch and a shock. But we somehow managed to turn things round. It was a crazy game, and after getting back to 2-2, we had chances to completely turn it on its head. But we should be happy with the point. Overall, it's a fair result. We came back from 2-0 down in a derby and secured our top-flight status. So we can be happy.

- © imago / Siwe

Question: You were in this situation and spoke a lot to the fans. On the pitch you were everywhere. How annoying was it to get just a point despite your domination and hitting the woodwork twice?

Kießling: It's disappointing, of course. I haven't started many games this season. All that's important for a forward is the ball comes forward cleanly. Everyone who knows me knows that I can be dangerous. Today that was the case. Timo Horn made some good saves. We were unlucky hitting the post and the bar. But I was in the right place and had chances, that's a good thing. The goals will come sooner or later.

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Question: Can you tell us where the fountain of youth is that you dip into? You played like in your best days.

Kießling: There's no fountain of youth, just a coach who counts on me. In the summer, I was in a difficult position. After that, I took things in hand, though I always trained with it. I have always said I'm fit, can play and help the team. When I get someone's confidence, I can repay it. I have to deal with the fact that my hip and physical condition mean I will almost certainly spend Sunday on my sofa. That is the reason why I'll consider whether or not to continue at all.

- © imago / mika