Half an hour prior to the Black & Yellows' final training session, head coach Marco Rose and captain Marco Reus answered questions posed by the international press. The respect for Besiktas is great - as is the confidence in the team's own abilities.
''Our third competition is beginning,'' said Rose before the opening Champions League match away to the Turkish title holders on Wednesday evening (kick-off 18:45 CET): ''We've got off to a respectable start in the cup and the Bundesliga. Now it's time for the Champions League too. The lads put together a fantastic run of results at the end of last season to get here - because they wanted to play in games like these.''
The coach and his players are aiming for three points to get started in the group, which also contains Sporting Lisbon and Ajax. ''We want to write our own history in this competition. We'll have to be on it right from the start tomorrow if we want to do so,'' said Rose. When asked about being tipped as ''favourites'', Reus responded: ''I couldn't care less about that. They are all Champions League opponents. Our goal is to make it through the group, ideally in first place. We'll start off with the game tomorrow and then we'll see how it goes from there.''
Rose kept his cards close to his chest when asked about Donyell Malen's chances of making it in the starting XI: ''Donny is an exceptionally good footballer. He's had a bit of work to do on his fitness level. You can see him getting there. He's integrated himself well and has played his part in all of our games so far. We're giving him the time he needs and we're challenging him and encouraging him.''
Borussia Dortmund are going up against a team who have yet to concede a goal in their domestic league. BVB, on the other hand, have already let in nine. ''We're not happy about this at all,'' said Rose, going on to evoke a shared video-analysis session: ''We spoke about our play with the ball, because that's when play without the ball starts.'' Reus also chipped in: ''We've let in too many goals because we have too many gaps in our defensive coverage. We have to change this. Because Besiktas can get forward at pace and pose a threat after winning the ball.''
Rose spoke of ''an opposition with a lot of quality, that defend aggressively and have acquired an exceptional player in Miralem Pjanic. We know what to expect. But we also know what we're capable of!''(br)