- Modeste content after firing Köln to mid-table finish in 2015/16.
- Scored 15 goals in debut season at the club.
- Believes experience gained will serve Billy Goats well going forward.
Speaking exclusively to bundesliga.com, the French striker reviews the recently ended 2015/16 campaign with a view to improving on his handsome 15-goal haul and the Billy Goats' ninth-placed finish next term.
bundesliga.com: Anthony Modeste, how's your summer break going so far?
Anthony Modeste: It does you really good to shut off, even though I'm playing a bit of sport every day. I want to be in top shape when pre-season training starts. There's no way I'd take a break from sport.
bundesliga.com: Now you've had a couple of weeks to digest it, what did you make of 1. FC Köln's season in 2015/16?
Modeste: It was a positive campaign. The Hinrunde went well. After that, we had a few difficulties, before getting back on track again. The European places were in touching distance, but we weren't consistent enough. It's a young team, though, so we can be really happy with it overall.
bundesliga.com: During the winter break, you spoke of dropped points in front of your own fans. Were you happier with the performances in the Rückrunde?
Modeste: First and foremost, us failing to win regularly at home had nothing to do with the support of our fans. It's true that we dropped a lot of points on our own patch. We'd have sealed our top-flight status sooner with a few more points. We played with two strikers, then with a target man and a playmaker. We tried a lot out without really finding the solution.
bundesliga.com: Köln head coach Peter Stöger appears to be very popular with the players…
Modeste: Absolutely. He always thinks positively, even when it's not going well. He always finds the right words of encouragement. Like when we were trailing Mainz 2-0 on Matchday 30 – he always believed in us and urged us to play attacking football. At half-time, he told us to keep believing in ourselves and didn't for one second give up hope. Then were turned it around and ran out deserved winners.
'We're a young team that'll go out there with a lot more experience next season.'
bundesliga.com: You also seem to have a wonderful understanding with him…
Modeste: I can always sense the faith he has in me. It's a wonderful feeling. His positivity and the way he communicates with me ensured that I was able to meet expectations this season. He definitely played a big role in that.
bundesliga.com: Was the Mainz game the most important of the season?
Modeste: Yes, but I'd also say the home game against Borussia Dortmund before Christmas. Again we were behind, but we showed passion and managed to win it late on. The atmosphere in our stadium was incredible.
bundesliga.com: With 15 goals, did you reach your personal goal?
Modeste: Absolutely. I was on a mission to score lots of goals in order to help the team stay up. I know I could have scored more goals. I know I can still get better.
bundesliga.com: What's your take on the coming season?
Modeste: As I said, we've got a young team that will go out there with a lot more experience. Perhaps we can play with more confidence and secure our top-flight status earlier than we did this season.
Interview by Alexis Menuge