Unfamiliar territory: Dortmund's Lukasz Piszczek found it "unusual" seeing his side lose the key battles against Schalke 04
Unfamiliar territory: Dortmund's Lukasz Piszczek found it "unusual" seeing his side lose the key battles against Schalke 04

"Our worst performance"

The mood in the Borussia Dortmund camp was understandably none too sparky after the champions tasted defeat for the first time in a long time on home territory on Matchday 8, going down 2-1 to Schalke 04.

The fact that it was their nearest-if-not-dearest dishing out the pain in the Revierderby made it even harder to stomach for Jürgen Klopp's men, who now trail league leaders FC Bayern Munich by 12 points in the standings. To get a flavour for what went wrong on Saturday, bundesliga.com caught up with Dortmund right-back Lukasz Piszczek.

bundesliga.com: Lukasz Piszczek, what sealed the derby defeat? Was it down to application, tactics, or was it simply a bad day?

Lukasz Piszczek: I don't think it was our best day. You could certainly see that out on the pitch. Our passes weren't quite there, we gave the ball away too often. Unfortunately one or two things didn't click. We can only hope that we play better in our next match.

bundesliga.com: Did the new line-up with three at the back contribute to some of those things not quite working out?

Piszczek: Possibly. But we're all professionals and have to be able to adapt to the situation. If the coach has an idea and explains it to us, we must put it into practice. Maybe we misunderstood something…

bundesliga.com: And did you practice playing with just three at the back in training?

Piszczek: No.

bundesliga.com: So Dortmund were trying out this variation for the first time against Schalke?

Piszczek: That's right.

bundesliga.com: You started out on the right-hand side of midfield, then moved to the left back and then in the second half you reverted to your usual position at right back. Was that confusing for you?

Piszczek: I didn't think all that much about it during the game. I just tried to focus on the match and concentrate on each task. But we all know that it didn't work out well. That goes for the whole team. Like I said, we have to do a lot better in our next game.

bundesliga.com: The line-up is one thing - the attitude is quite another. Were BVB lacking a bit of passion as well against Schalke?

Piszczek: That may be. We'll need to go over it all again in the cold light of day. In any case, from the first minute onwards, our opponents played with passion and aggression. They were also stronger man-on-man, which is unusual for us. I've honestly got no real explanation for it.

bundesliga.com: Dortmund now have 12 points after eight Bundesliga games. Why do you think it's not going as well as before?

Piszczek: We were a bit unlucky against Hamburg and Frankfurt, and at Hannover as well, where we also left points behind. Of all the games we haven't won, the one against Schalke was definitely our worst performance. We're all hurting because we know we can play much better than we did against Schalke.

bundesliga.com: Maybe Dortmund haven't found their game just yet - the tireless running, effort and passion?

Piszczek: I think we have! We showed all that against Hamburg for example. They only created three chances, but scored three goals. Whereas we created ten chances and only scored twice. That's what I mean by unlucky. In Frankfurt, we also played the kind of football that makes us strong. That was a great performance from both teams. But that's football - you're not always rewarded for playing well.

bundesliga.com: On Wednesday in the Champions League, you're up against a team that often play sensational football. Are you looking forward to the match against Real Madrid, despite the derby loss?

Piszczek: Yes, without doubt! I'm hugely excited about it. They're the sort of teams, as a professional, you can't wait to play against - and the sort of games you play football for.

bundesliga.com: In your view, how should Dortmund approach the game? As openly as in the 1-1 draw against Manchester City?

Piszczek: We'll give our all to put on the sort of display we did in Manchester. We won't hide. And come the final whistle, we'lll see what that's got us.

Interview: Dietmar Nolte