Veteran right-back Lukasz Piszczek is hoping to add to the two Bundesliga titles he won with Borussia Dortmund between 2010 and 2012. - © 2018 DFL
Veteran right-back Lukasz Piszczek is hoping to add to the two Bundesliga titles he won with Borussia Dortmund between 2010 and 2012. - © 2018 DFL
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Borussia Dortmund’s Lukasz Piszczek: “We have to win games like these”

With close to 300 Bundesliga appearances behind him, Borussia Dortmund full-back Lukasz Piszczek is hoping to win the league title for a third time before his playing career comes to an end.

Ahead of his side’s Matchday 4 home game against Bayer Leverkusen, the 34-year-old former Poland international and Hertha Berlin player sat down with bundesliga.com to discuss Dortmund’s title chances, how he still performs at the highest level, and who his toughest opponent is.

Piszczek on...

... the next game against Leverkusen

"I think since Peter Bosz came in they have done very well. They’ve been even more aggressive and more offensive. We know that it'll be a tough game for us."

... Leverkusen’s title chances…

"I don’t like talking about other teams and what they want to achieve. We know what we want to achieve and if we want to reach our goals this season, we have to win games like these. Last time we didn’t manage that away from home [in the 3-1 loss against Union Berlin]. That showed that when you don’t have the right mindset, you won’t win anything when you perform like that. The first half against Union was OK, but the second wasn’t unfortunately."

Watch: Highlights of Dortmund's surprise defeat to Union Berlin

... the reasons for that defeat against Union on Matchday 3…

"We knew that Union would give it 100 percent. I think in the second half we were missing some concentration. In the first half we were OK. Yes, we went behind but then got the equaliser fairly soon after that. But then we didn’t take the chances we created… two-on-two or three-on-two situations which we didn’t finish off. In the second half we conceded a goal from a mistake, which can happen in football, and which happened because we didn’t get back well enough."

... conceding five goals in their first three games…

"You lose 3-1 to Berlin in the end, and then you get to this number fairly quickly. Yes, it’s not what we expect of ourselves. We’ve had two away games against two newly promoted teams. At the start of the season you don’t know what to expect. But what we said before the start of the season, that we wanted to be up there at the top again, we need to be prepared to not only play football but to fight and be focused to win such games. For example, in [the 3-1 win over] Cologne we also knew that it wouldn’t be an easy game but we finished off our chances a lot better than against Union Berlin.

"No teams will take a step back against us. They'll press us, as was the case in Cologne for example. But then we found a good way to play around it after half-time. We stayed patient and created our chances. In Cologne, we kept our focus, in the second half too. We knew that if we kept playing like that, patient, then we would create our chances because they couldn’t keep that tempo of pressing up for the whole game. We took advantage of that well but, as I said, we need 90 minutes of full concentration. Not always with footballing quality but with fight and some bite to get into the game."

Watch: Piszczek’s top 5 Bundesliga goals!

... being Dortmund’s Mr. Reliable…

"I don’t know. I always do my job on the pitch and that’s the only thing I can say. Of course, there are games where I play very well and there are games where you don’t have such a good day. But I think that happens to everyone. I don’t worry about it, though, because I’ve been around for a long time and I try to do my next job out there on the pitch. That’s defending or if I can contribute more offensively, then I do that too. When it doesn’t go well then I try to push the guys, not just me but the other players who are experienced, to do better in the next games."

... how experience helps him…

"Definitely that helps, this experience I have, when you're in your tenth season at Borussia Dortmund. I always approach it in the same way. I don’t look back at what happened two or three years ago. I focus on what’s happening now and what shape I’m in, what job I can do on the pitch and so on. How I can help the team.

"Of course, I’ve been here a while and that helps when you’re playing, using this experience in certain situations on the pitch. But, as I said, I don’t look back. I focus on the here and now."

... still managing to perform every week…

"I don’t look back too much because that could be a disadvantage. Now, you have to push yourself forward and I try to do that. It’s not easy. I’m 34 but I know from training and from the weights room that I can still perform. That’s why I’m thinking about extending my contract."

Lukasz Piszczek and his Dortmund teammates got their hands on the first silverware of the season when they beat Bayern Munich in the DFL Supercup. - imago images / Newspix

... how Mats Hummels has changed over the years...

"He’s in the weights room more before training, after training. He knows perhaps that without that, it wouldn’t work so well at that age. But otherwise, he’s just like he was… playing-wise he’s as good as ever."

... whether Dortmund can win the league…

"Before the season we said we wanted to do that and we believe we can be in the fight for the title. But just talking about it won’t do anything. You have to perform on the pitch and there we need to improve."

... which other teams could challenge for the title…

"RB Leipzig have started well and a few other teams too. Of course, it’s only the start and we’ve only played three games. But they're the teams that can make a flying start to the season.

"Leverkusen can also be confident and Gladbach were very good for a long time last season and at the end they ran out of steam a bit perhaps. I assume Bayern will always be there. We also want to win the title this season and Leipzig will also be there. With the rest, we’ll see what happens."

After being on opposite sides in recent years, Mats Hummels (l.) and Lukasz Piszczek (r.) are teammates again after the former returned to Borussia Dortmund from Bayern Munich. - imago/Annegret Hilse

... the best player he has faced still playing in the Bundesliga…

"There’s [Kingsley] Coman... Wingers are always quick, technically good and so on. That’s why you have to be very focused and very robust against these players and I try to do that."

... the best right-back of the next generation in the Bundesliga...

"I think [Joshua] Kimmich is doing very well at Bayern."