DORTMUND, Germany (Reuters) - Borussia Dortmund’s poor form may have dented their hopes of silverware but the Germans will not be sidetracked when they meet Napoli in the Champions League on Tuesday, said coach Juergen Klopp.
Last season’s Champions League runners-up have been beaten in their last two Bundesliga matches, including Saturday’s 3-0 defeat by leaders Bayern Munich, to lose ground in the domestic title race.
Dortmund were also defeated 1-0 at home by leaders Arsenal at the start of the month as they slipped to third in Group F.
Klopp’s side have six Champions League points from four matches, three adrift of Arsenal and Napoli.
“We have the feeling that we are missing some points at this stage,” the coach told reporters on Monday. “But we will not be diverted from our self-confident path that quickly.
“If it goes the way we want to then it will still be a tight group going into the last matchday. I don’t care how the ball goes in tomorrow as long as it does go in.”
Klopp said his players were looking forward to the crunch match against the Italians.
“It is good news that (right back) Lukasz Piszczek is back again,” he said of the Poland international who made a substitute appearance on Saturday after a long injury absence. “This gives us more options.”
Klopp is struggling with a makeshift defence after his first choice back line were ravaged by injuries. New signing Manuel Friedrich, who joined last week as a free agent, is also ineligible for European competition.
“All the players know exactly what is at stake,” central defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos said.
“We are ready and we know it is still in our own hands. For us this is like a final.”
Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Tony Jimenez