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First team

Gregor Kobel: "Keep going at full throttle and with focus"

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After the public training session on Tuesday morning in Dortmund-Brackel, Gregor Kobel and Nico Schlotterbeck answered journalists' questions on the club's current form, Champions League qualification and the upcoming games against PSG.

Gregor Kobel and Nico Schlotterbeck on...

...public training:

Kobel: It's always nice to have a few fans there, but it doesn't change that much for us in sporting terms - we train as we normally would. Afterwards, we sign autographs and hopefully everyone gets a turn - then we're all happy.

Schlotterbeck: Of course you're happy when you can make a few people smile, that's always fun. I think the fans got their money's worth and got a signature from everyone.

...qualification for the Champions League:

Kobel: It's very important for us to give one-hundred percent to finish fourth in the league. We can't sit back until we've achieved this. We have to keep going at full throttle and with focus.

Schlotterbeck: It's a very important, decisive game against Leipzig, they're our direct rivals and it makes a difference to us whether we finish fifth or fourth. As long as things aren't certain, we'll try to keep performing. We lost to Leipzig in the reverse fixture and want to win this time around. It's a battle for fourth place

...the stability in defence:

Kobel: I think that Nico Schlotterbeck, Mats Hummels and Niklas Süle are doing a great job, they clear a lot of danger for me. We're also very united as a team, very disciplined.You can see that we have the will to defend. That's always a good foundation: it all starts with defence, then you can build attack from there. We've definitely taken a step in the right direction in recent weeks and months, and we have to keep it up.

Schlotterbeck: We're more settled. We no longer have to change positions so much and have now often played with the same back four and the same midfield, which has allowed us to keep a better shape. The individual performances have also improved a lot. I'm very pleased with how things have gone so far in the second half of the season with the goals conceded, that's very good. We want to continue like this, stay focused and play our game.

...both legs of the Champions League semi-final against Paris Saint-Germain:

Schlotterbeck: We took a very defensive approach to our last game in Paris and had far too much respect for our opponents. We had them on the brink of defeat in the home game, which is why we have to go full throttle in the home game next week and carry the stadium with us. It was something special against Atletico - but I think the fans will make even more noise. We will try to travel to Paris in a good position. The belief that the team and the whole club have in making it to London is huge. Of course we have to play two top-class games against a very good opposition - but with the crowd at home we can establish a good starting position and then make it to the final in the second leg in Paris.