Following their return from the USA, the Black & Yellows had a day off on Monday but will resume pre-season preparations on Tuesday. Below, BVB boss Hans-Joachim Watzke gives his take on the USA Tour and looks ahead to the coming weeks.
Hans-Joachim Watzke on the 2019 USA Tour:
It was interesting on a sporting level. The programme was well-designed with the first match in Seattle and then the clash with Champions League winners Liverpool. Given how Liverpool attacked us in the final 15 minutes, it was more than a friendly. You didn't get the feeling the result was of secondary importance. It was a good test for both teams.
...on the importance of BVB in the USA:
Looking at it from an economic viewpoint, you can see that the BVB community is getting bigger every year. But it's also clear that we're not Liverpool. That said, we have a bigger presence than two years ago.
...on the next step:
We now have a week at home to train. Then after that we head to Switzerland. I feel we have a balanced programme. For us, sporting success is the absolute priority and everything else is secondary. For financial reasons, we could've certainly played a match this week. But we made the conscious decision to focus solely on training this week.
...on the aspirations for the new season:
We've said: We'll give it our all to become German champions. That's the correct wording. If we had approached the matter very defensively after the match against Gladbach (editor's note: Matchday 34 last season), there would've been a feeling of depression over the summer. For we squandered a comfortable lead, because Bayern Munich opted not to give us an inch in the second half of the season. However, we only finished two points behind in the end. Consequently, our statement is made with the fullest conviction. We've never lacked courage.
...on the squad for 2019/20:
Yes, we've invested but – and we don't hear much mention of this – we've seen several players leave too. The books this summer have been pretty balanced, when you consider the transfers of Pulisic, Diallo and Isak. I believe that, all things considered, we're more balanced and that the coming weeks will highlight even more clearly how much we needed the return of Mats Hummels. In attack we're even less predictable, and we're all extremely satisfied with how things stand; we have a good feeling with this squad, which we still need to trim down slightly.
...on the Super Cup against Bayern Munich on 3 August:
There's never been as much interest in the Super Cup as there is this year. The match was quickly sold out. We're really looking forward to this game. Both teams will take the match very seriously.
...on whether an out-and-out centre-forward is still to arrive:
We have just as many out-and-out centre-forwards as Bayern Munich, that is to say: one. Paco has scored every time in pre-season so far, he has been able to complete the entire programme, is much firmer and played a very good game against Liverpool. We shouldn't pretend as if we don't have any strikers. And then there's Mario Götze, Thorgan Hazard and Jacob Bruun Larsen – to name but a few – who can play this position too. (br)