After the first match-free weekend of the year, Sebastian Kehl, head of first team football at Borussia Dortmund, talked about the past week of training, Gio Reyna, and the upcoming game against Bayer 04 Leverkusen.
Sebastian Kehl on the international break:
"It's been very good; the lads have worked super hard in the last week. The coach also wanted everyone to stay here. They specifically worked on things that stood out in the first set of games, and we deliberately decided against playing a friendly too, for example. We had a high volume of training that one or two players used to get back into the swing of things."
…on Gio Reyna:
"Gio's had a difficult time; he's been out for several months with an injury that's kept himself and us very busy. It took some time and a lot of conversations - his family were also very involved - but you could see what it does to a young lad when they're not able to train with the team for so long. But he's been solid again for quite some time now and he's been training for several weeks. He wasn't involved against Hoffenheim, but that could change by the weekend. We've emphasised how much we've missed him a lot, and we're very, very glad to have him."
…on the Bundesliga standings:
"I think we have to be ready for all possible scenarios. We're too ambitious to give up on the season already, but saying that we have a really good chance of winning the title wouldn't be right either. We know how fast everything goes, and how stable Bayern are, but we also see how much the teams behind us want to catch up and stay in it. Leverkusen are a very serious opponent and a great team, as were Hoffenheim. Beating them was great for us, knowing that we could pull away in the table too. That has to be our clear goal in the end: staying ahead and taking any chances that come our way."
…on the direct clashes in the upper half of the table:
"In these direct clashes, you can make up a lot of ground and position yourself clearly. That would have also been the case for the Bayern game in November, where we went so close. We know that these direct clashes are incredibly important in the end, and we want to win our next home game; we've become a really strong force at home again. We have a few interesting opponents coming our way in the next few weeks, especially the supposedly smaller opponents that have kept us extremely busy recently, so we're not just going to limit things to the table standings or change our attitude and focus."