The situation is similar to the one six months ago when BVB also had to deal with a “setback”. At that time Jürgen Klopp held an impassioned speech that evoked a spirited reaction from the team and the fans – what followed was one of the best games ever.
“Everyone who bought a ticket will have an influence on the outcome of this game,“ emphasised Borussia Dortmund’s coach ahead of the game against Bayern Munich on Saturday (1830 CET). The triple setback suffered by the injuries to Neven Subotic (cruciate ligament), Mats Hummels (damaged ligaments in heel) and Marcel Schmelzer (torn calf muscle) have released the fighting spirit in him. “In life you want things to run smoothly,” said Klopp. “Now it’s all about how we respond to it. We will need to produce something special in a difficult situation.”
Klopp knows, of course, that a defensive reorganisation is anything but easy, especially not ahead to a game against Bayern Munich “who will massively challenge us defensively.” Klopp will also bear in mind that new signing Manuel Friedrich is not eligible to play against Napoli on Tuesday. As Kevin Grosskreutz and Erik Durm are certain to occupy the fullback positions, the challenge will be to find someone to play alongside Sokratis, BVB’ new defensive lynchpin.
As difficult as the situation may be, Klopp pointed out that BVB “still have a huge quality”, even without the likes of Piszczek, Hummels, Subotic, Schmelzer and Gündogan. And Borussia have home field advantage – like on 24 April against Real Madrid (4-1). “We will need everything Borussia Dortmund have at their disposal,” said Klopp, meaning the support of the 70,000 “Schwarzgelben” in the stands. Klopp asked the fans to not worry too much about who once played for Bayern or Dortmund “but focus on the lads who need all the support they can get”, while urging his players “to be courageous” and push themselves” to their limits.”
Full throttle in the stands, and full throttle on the pitch. “We will need to play exceptionally well to get a good result,” said Klopp, promising: “We’ll give everything we have to achieve that.”