Hamburg - Borussia Dortmund may have fallen a massive 20 points behind FC Bayern München at the Bundesliga summit after Matchday 22's 3-0 defeat at Hamburger SV, but midfielder Nuri Sahin remains adamant that BVB remain primed and ready for another stern test Tuesday's trip to FC Zenit in the UEFA Champions League.
Sahin admitted the players had let themselves down at the ImtechArena, but went on to explain in an exclusive interview with bundesliga.com that Dortmund would nevertheless fly to Russia with their heads held high.
bundesliga.com: Nuri Sahin, can you explain your team’s performance in Hamburg?
Sahin: We showed nothing of what had got us back on track in recent weeks. You can't afford that in the Bundesliga. Every single one of us failed to do what was necessary to win a game like this.
bundesliga.com: What did Jürgen Klopp have to say at half-time?
Sahin: He didn't really raise his voice but it certainly wasn't the prettiest half-time team talk I've heard. Some tough words were spoken - and they had to be. We gave it everything after the break but it just wasn't to be.
bundesliga.com: Does this defeat knock you off course ahead of the Champions League game at Zenit St. Petersburg?
Sahin: No, this won't affect us. We're strong enough now to be able to cope with things like this. We'll analyse what happened, be critical about it and then draw the right conclusions. This match won't have any influence on what happens on Tuesday.
bundesliga.com: Could it be a good thing that there is little time between the two matches to really dwell on this defeat?
Sahin: There's nothing to think about. The game in St. Petersburg is too important for us to let this loss drag us down. We're not going to board the plane with our heads bowed. Let's not forget we beat teams like Arsenal and Napoli to win our group and we've got to show that when we face Zenit. We've got to put Hamburg behind us as quickly as possible.
bundesliga.com: Zenit are still on their winter break. Is that going to make it hard to prepare for this game?
Sahin: We're certainly going to be well prepared. There's always enough video footage to look at. Zenit are full of international players and we respect them, and they’ll certainly respect us even more.
Interview by Michael Reis