Kalou eager to regain place

The former Chelsea forward lost his regular starting berth towards the end of 2014, but there has since been a change in coach with Pal Dardai replacing Jos Luhukay.

That change could offer a new beginning to Kalou, who returned to Germany on Thursday following Ivory Coast’s cup triumph in Equatorial Guinea.

“I’m feeling really good and I’m ready,” he told the Berliner Zeitung newspaper. “I now want to put in a great second half of the season with Hertha.

“It’s high time we showed what we can do. The win over Mainz was important for all of us and that gives us self-confidence for the challenges ahead.”

Kalou found out about the change in coach while he was in Africa and he hopes it will lead to more regular action for him.

“Every player will now want to prove himself to the new coach and I also get a new chance and want to play more,” said the 29-year-old.

“I’ve just won a title and I’ve really got a taste for it. I’m hungry and I want more.”

Dardai has said the decision over whether Kalou plays against Freiburg or not lies with the player having earmarked him for a role behind lone striker Julian Schieber.

Opponents Freiburg would do anything to have such a decision to make having seen their attacking options decimated with the news that Nils Petersen joins Admir Mehmedi on the sidelines for the next four weeks.

Nicolas Hofler is also likely to miss out with a fever.

“It’s going to be a battle which every single one of my players have got to be ready for,” said Freiburg coach Christian Streich.

“We’ve got to accept the challenge. Everybody has got to shoulder the responsibility.”