Borussia Dortmund Sporting Director Sebastian Kehl opened up about the upcoming Champions League game against AC Milan.
In the lead up to tomorrow’s clash between Borussia Dortmund and AC Milan, BVB Sporting Director Sebastian Kehl commented on the status of the team as they approach this pivotal Champions League encounter for both sides. According to Kehl, Dortmund have every chance to “take the right step” against Milan, but it will depend on what they show on the pitch:
"“We’ve been following [Milan’s] last few games, the results and the injury situation. Let’s see which team Milan brings onto the pitch. But we’re focusing on ourselves and have one or two issues that we unfortunately have to take with us. Nevertheless, we’re looking forward to it because we can take a real step forward.”"
The issues in question are Dortmund’s last few showings in the Bundesliga, namely the games against Stuttgart and Bayern. Both performances have been criticized heavily, and their latest clash against Borussia Mönchengladbach exemplified similar frailties despite ending up being a resounding 4-2 win.
Kehl also touched on the situation regarding personnel for Dortmund heading into this game:
"“Niklas Süle will unfortunately miss out as he is ill. But Sebastien Haller and Karim Adeyemi are back. Marcel Sabitzer is also feeling better, he’s back. We’ll see if he’s fit enough for the game. We’ll have a good squad there and are well prepared.”"
Süle’s absence highlights the team’s lack of depth going into this clash, but the hope will be that Dortmund will be able to overcome this setback. That being said, the cracks in Dortmund’s squad are still a accentuated by his absence, which in turn will hopefully spur the club into action on the transfer market
Kehl has been at the center of many rumors in recent weeks, particularly surrounding his internal criticism of the squad and how planning was conducted ahead of this season. These criticisms if true are completely valid.
Despite this internal struggle, Kehl’s expectation is that the team will remain completely focused heading into the tough weeks ahead:
"“…We’re going into the next few weeks very focused, determined and ambitious because we know that we can now push things in the right direction in the three competitions. We did that at the weekend, even if not everything was good in that game and we were 2-0 down at first. But then we showed comeback qualities and did so once again. I want us to show this concentration and focus right from the start…We’re not yet thinking about the weekend or the following week, but now it’s about making an exclamation mark in this important group in the Champions League. That would also give us momentum for the coming weeks.”"
As noted, a win in Milan would be a step in the right direction for Dortmund. The club will face tough opposition in the coming weeks and having their Champions League knockout round berth sealed with a win against Milan would go a long way in allowing them to focus on the upcoming tasks in the league and DFB Pokal as well as giving them the confidence to do so.