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back Bundesliga | 17.09.2012 14:23:31

Perfect preparation

  • Good to be back: Neven Subotic was delighed with Borussia Dortmund's display in the 3-0 win over Bayer 04 Leverkusen
  • Dortmund produced a phenomenal team performance to utterly dominate the contest and set themselves up perfectly for Tuesday's Champions League tie with Ajax
  • Dortmund were paired in a difficult group in the competition last season, along with Arsenal, Olympiacos...
  • ...and Olympique Marseille, but Subotic believes the team have learned from last season's campaign when they failed to progess beyond the group stages

Dortmund - Champions Borussia Dortmund confirmed their steadily-improving form with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen on Matchday 3.

In an exclusive interview with bundesliga.com, central defender Neven Subotic gives his views on just how well the Yellow-Blacks are playing and what sort of impetus this gives them ahead of the start of their UEFA Champions League campaign at home to AFC Ajax Amsterdam on Tuesday night.

bundesliga.com: Neven Subotic, you're wearing a very bright smile indeed after the victory over Bayer Leverkusen.

Neven Subotic: Absolutely. I'm really pleased to be part of a team like ours. It was incredible how well we played. The whole team delivered a great performance for almost the entire 90 minutes. I don't think we could have played much better.

bundesliga.com: Were you surprised yourself by the level of your team's domination?

Subotic: We know what we're capable of, but it does us good to confirm to ourselves the kind of form we're in. Now the important thing is to try and add a little more to the performances with each game we play. That's the standard we want to set regularly and the type of display we want to turn in every week.

bundesliga.com: On Tuesday you begin your European campaign when you take on AFC Ajax in the UEFA Champions League. How does this result prepare you for that one?

Subotic: Well it will certainly help us. Leverkusen are a good side, who played in the Champions League themselves last season and are in Europe again this year, so it was a tough test for us. You can see that teams will always find it difficult against us when we play like that, though, and that's exactly what we're hoping for in the Champions League against Ajax.

bundesliga.com: And presumably you must fancy your chances?

Subotic: I think so, yes. Performing like that we have a chance, and it's the same with the other teams in the group. If you hit the post three times and the opposition have one shot that finds the corner of the net, there's not much you can do. But we certainly feel we have can do well if we approach the game with the same passion and aggression.

bundesliga.com: Considering the other teams in your group - Manchester City and Real Madrid - would it be fair to say that victory in the opening game against Ajax is a must?

Subotic: There are no easy sides in the group, since all three of those teams are domestic champions. The only difference with Manchester City and Real Madrid is that they perhaps have more money than most clubs to invest in the squad.

bundesliga.com: Last season Dortmund were fantastic in the Bundesliga but were unable to reproduce that type of form in the Champions League. Has that played on your mind at all?

Subotic:I haven't thought about that for a long time, and if I do think about it now, it feels like a lifetime ago. A lot of time has passed since we were knocked out of Europe last season. We've grown together as a squad and I'm confident we won't make the same mistakes we did then.

bundesliga.com: And are you hoping to be on the scoresheet yourself on Tuesday?

Subotic: Of course. I haven't scored in a while and I came very close against Bayer. It would have been lovely to have netted but unfortunately my header didn't go in. But who knows - it might be a different story onTuesday evening.

Interview by Dietmar Nolte

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