The German told the Evening Standard: "It's always difficult to join a club in January, especially when there are not many other signings, and I needed a little bit of a break and a pre-season just to get to know everyone better.
"I feel very welcome now. I feel at home here in the team, so now I can show what I'm really capable of, and I think I'm progressing.
"Do we have a more balanced squad now? Definitely. Respect to Gareth who was awesome here, a fantastic guy and a fantastic player, but the new players have really adapted to our team and our style of football.
"The Premier League is very tight and it will be very close at the top. You see how much money all the clubs are spending, like Cardiff, who were promoted only last season.
"But we are fourth now and if we can continue to adapt to each other, then we have big objectives to aim for."
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