Salomon Kalou is optimistic about Hertha Berlin's chances of shining in the Bundesliga again next season, but told bundesliga.com the capital club's fade to the finishing line in 2015/16 had been "a slight disappointment".
Pal Dardai's men appeared set to clinch a UEFA Champions League place with a top-four finish for much of the last campaign, but a dip in form in the finishing straight saw them slip to seventh come the final whistle on Matchday 34, leaving a slightly bitter taste in the Côte d'Ivoire international's mouth.
bundesliga.com: Salomon Kalou, is seventh place in the Bundesliga a disappointment or a success?
Salomon Kalou: If you had asked me that question nine months ago when the season started, I would have said that it was a great success, especially because the 2014/15 campaign had been difficult, and a top-ten finish would have been a good thing. However, given that we were third for several months, you could say that it's a slight disappointment. The last third of the season did not go as we had wished. I think we lost a number of matches through ill fortune, while in others we lacked a little bit of freshness.
"We're going to have to work hard to finish in the top half."
bundesliga.com: And your own ambitions?
Kalou: Before each season, I set myself the target of ten goals. With such a tally, you can help your team have a good season. Before each game, I motivate myself in order to be able to push myself further, and that will again be the case during next season. In any case, I'm very proud and very happy to play for Hertha. Working with Pal Dardai is going very well. I feel the confidence he has in me all the time, and that does me good.
bundesliga.com: You're rather optimistic of having another good season then?
Kalou: I'm going to give my best and I firmly believe that we'll live up to expectations. We have a good, well-balanced team, and it's not planned that the key players leave. That's why we have cause for optimism, even if we're going to have to work hard to be able to finish in the top half.