Munich - Borussia Dortmund defender Neven Subotic acknowledged his side have work to do defensively if they are to be ready for the new season but remains optimistic about the reigning champions' chances of success in spite of their Supercup defeat to rivals Bayern Munich.
A result to write off
The Yellow-Blacks quickly found themselves two goals down in Munich after a calamitous opening to Sunday's showpiece, with Mario Mandzukic and Thomas Müller each scoring for the hosts as a result of some sloppy defending.
"We let this game go just because of a 20-minute spell where weren't focused enough", said Subotic, who was nonetheless encouraged by his team's second-half showing: "We corrected things and in the second half had the chances to equalise, but against a strong team like Bayern it's always tough to back from 2-0 down."
Indeed, Dortmund were very much in the ascendancy after the restart, creating a host of opportunities to get themselves back on level terms but ultimately falling a tick short after Robert Lewandowski had reduced the arrears to 2-1.
Reasons to be cheerful
Substitute Mario Götze, back in the side after a season interrupted by injury, proved the catalyst for the response. His direct running and neat interplay will have given BVB fans good reason to for optimism ahead of their upcoming DFB Cup and Bundesliga and campaigns.
Dortmund supporters will also have been impressed by some of the new names on display. Julian Schieber, recruited from VfB Stuttgart, immediately got in amongst the action and almost added his name to the scoresheet, while prodigal son Marco Reus, who returned to his hometown club from Borussia Mönchengladbach in the summer, played the full 90 minutes.
'Can only get better'
Reus may have experienced a somewhat quieter evening, but Subotic was nonetheless excited at what he and Schieber will bring to the titleholders' bid to defend their crown: "They've both done a wonderful job with us so far. They're experienced in the Bundesliga, they know the opposition well and they know our team well too."
After a series of second-placed finishes last term, title rivals Bayern have also invested heavily over the summer, adding Mandzukic, Xherdan Shaqiri and Dante to a squad which came agonisingly close to conquering Europe in May. The Bavarians can also call upon Claudio Pizarro, the Bundesliga's record foreign goalscorer, after the Peruvian re-signed from Werder Bremen.
However, with talents of Reus' calibre available to them, Subotic is certain that Dortmund will hit the ground running come the big Bundesliga kick-off on 24 August: "As time continues to go by and the new guys play more competitive games together, they can only get better."
Bernie Reeves reporting from the Allianz Arena.