Dortmund - On paper, it looks very much a setback for the defending Bundesliga champions. Tuesday’s 1-1 home draw with newly-promoted Fortuna Düsseldorf meant two points dropped for Jürgen Klopp’s side ahead of the weekend encounter with league leaders FC Bayern Munich.
In the eyes of central defender , however, the stumble against Fortuna has given Dortmund an even bigger incentive to shine in Munich. Drawing on recent past occasions when the Yellow-Blacks have performed to their maximum against Bayern, the 23-year-old Serbia international views the showdown as an opportunity to be seized, as he explained to the assembled press at Signal Iduna Park after the match.
Question: Neven Subotic, why did Dortmund only manage a draw against Düsseldorf despite being 1-0 up at half-time?
Neven Subotic: It's certainly not the result we were hoping for. We wanted to win and at the same time not take any risks, like leaving ourselves open to counter-attacks from Düsseldorf. We managed that well in the first half, but after the break we were caught out, more than once. In this league, it doesn’t matter what position you are in the table. Every team is capable of pulling something out of the bag.
Question: Fortuna’s organisation at the back seemed to present problems for Dortmund.
Subotic: They gave us room to play up until 40 yards from their goal, which you don't see too often in the Bundesliga. Seeing how defensive they were, you would have thought they weren’t interested in coming forward. But we invited them to counter-attack us through our own mistakes, and they took advantage of them.
Question: You tried everything to force another goal after Düsseldorf's equaliser, but couldn’t make the breakthrough.
Subotic: We just couldn’t find another goal. We had chances to score beforehand though. We could have gone for a second goal earlier and that would have decided the match. Instead, we were too careful in possession and played things safe by keeping the ball at the back, which was why we didn’t have that many chances.
Question: You had 65 percent possession but weren’t able to make that dominance count.
Subotic: We were on top, but we were passing the ball in areas that weren’t dangerous. We didn’t really deserve to win it and a point isn’t what we wanted from the game - but then again it’s not a disaster.
Question: Mario Götze, Mats Hummels and Ilkay Gündogan were all unavailable. Did that have an effect on the outcome?
Subotic: All three of them are world-class players and any team would suffer from their absence. I really hope we have them back against Bayern. They might have given our game a different shape against Düsseldorf, but we'll never know.
Question: After this setback you have FC Bayern to look forward to at the weekend...
Subotic: In the past we’ve often followed up disappointing results with a positive reaction, and the game in Munich on Saturday gives us the opportunity to do that again. I hope, and believe, that we’ll be able to do it.
Question: Bayern can extend their advantage to eleven points if they beat Freiburg [on Wednesday].
Subotic: And? That makes no difference to me. We're not even halfway through the season. We won’t be drawing every game and Bayern won't win every game. Every run comes to an end. The season's still a long way from over.
Compiled by Dietmar Nolte