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Kevin Volland chipped in with an assist as Bayer Leverkusen came from behind to beat Cologne on Matchday 10. - © © imago
Kevin Volland chipped in with an assist as Bayer Leverkusen came from behind to beat Cologne on Matchday 10. - © © imago

Kevin Volland: "Bayer Leverkusen have arrived!"


All the pieces of the Bayer Leverkusen puzzle are beginning to slot into place, according to in-form forward Kevin Volland.

Heiko Herrlich's swashbuckling ensemble are up to eighth in the standings after coming from behind to beat Cologne on Saturday - a win that extended their unbeaten Bundesliga run to five matches.

Question: Kevin Volland, Bayer Leverkusen consolidated their winning run against Cologne. What did you make of the game?

Kevin Volland: We played very well in the second half, having dominated the first half without finding much joy in front of goal. Cologne defended well, but I think we fully deserved to win.

Question: How involved did you feel in the first half?

Volland: It was tough for me. I was up front on my own, up against three Cologne defenders. They had two banks of four, which made it very tight. The introduction of Lucas Alario after the break made it easier for me.

Question: How important are the three successive wins?

Volland: The three wins are worth their weight in gold. We progressed in the DFB Cup and we're in the mix in the Bundesliga. The wins were incredibly important. We still need to be more consistent, as the first half showed. But a tight win can also be good when you're not scoring but having to fight hard for every ball.

Question: Bayer have overturned half-time deficits to win their last two Bundesliga games, and before that came from behind to draw 1-1 at Schalke. What does that say about the character of the team?

Volland: It's a characteristic of our team to always fight back - especially in such an emotional game. Everyone fights for the other, guys like Leon Bailey and Julian Brandt also work really hard defensively. It's not a given, Heiko Herrlich demands it of us. On top of that, there's also the individual quality of the squad.

Watch: Leon Bailey on his part in Leverkusen's Rhine derby win

Question: Are Bayer more unpredictable than last season?

Volland: Every opponent has a plan against us. We particularly noticed that last season, when we always thought we'd be able to counter press. It didn't work out, though, because everyone knew how we played. This season, we're playing different systems and have a good plan. Now we're back in the higher reaches of the table and have truly arrived after a bad start to the season.

Question: Do you feel invincible after turning so many games around of late, or is there uncertainty about how well and consistently you're able to deliver?

Volland: We all know about the quality we have and now we're showing that on the pitch, but there's always room for improvement. There are times when we lose possession too cheaply, but our two holding players did a great job today, Cologne hardly had any scoring opportunities.

Question: What objectives have the team set this season?

Volland: We want to be in the top six, there's not doubt about that, but objectives are to be handled with care - we learned that last season. We have to keep working hard and win games like the one against Cologne. We play Augsburg next, it'll be a difficult game.

Quiz: How well do you know Bayer Leverkusen? Take the test!

Tobias Gonscherowski reporting from the BayArena

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