Dortmund - Largely unfazed by Borussia Dortmund's topsy-turvy start to the campaign, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been in very impressive form so far this season.
bundesliga.com caught up with the 25-year-old to gather his thoughts on Dortmund's current problems in the Bundesliga, what they need to improve on and the reasons behind his own form surge.
bundesliga.com: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, what is it that's bothering BVB in the Bundesliga at the moment?
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: We had a long pre-season, but at the same time most of our players were at the World Cup in Brazil, meaning they stepped into the action without much preparation. We were playing games every three days right from the beginning so there were not really that many training sessions for us to try to work on our game and refine things. And then of course we've got a few new players who need a bit of time to get used to BVB's style of play, which is why we have problems particularly at the start of games.
'BVB are a great club and the fans are incredible'
bundesliga.com: Are you missing more than anybody else?
Aubameyang: We're not missing just him, but also Henrikh [Mhkitaryan], Kuba [Jakub Blaszczykowski], Nuri [Sahin] and Ilkay Gündogan. But of course we are missing Marco's imagination, technical ability and dribbling.
bundesliga.com: Are you optimistic things will improve in the weeks to come?
Aubameyang: Of course I am, and I've got plenty of reasons to be optimistic. Firstly, we have proven in the UEFA Champions League what we are capable of. Then we'll be getting some of our first-team regulars back, which will give the coach more options.
bundesliga.com: You've now been at Dortmund for 15 months. How would you summarise your time at the club?
I'm very happy. BVB are a great club and the fans are incredible. I love playing in the Bundesliga because most teams are attack-minded. I'm feeling better and better. Games like the derby with Schalke or against Bayern München are particularly exciting, but what impresses me the most is how popular the Bundesliga has become. Since I arrived, I can't remember there being one game which was not a sell-out.
bundesliga.com: There were a few personal ups and downs in your first year in Dortmund, but now you seem to have really found your feet and it's become hard to imagine you not being in the starting XI…
Aubameyang: Absolutely. I had a long break over the summer and I was able to recharge my batteries fully. I managed to switch off completely before taking part in the whole of pre-season. Now I'm feeling in top shape and I also understand much more what the coach wants. I'm getting better and better.
bundesliga.com: Where exactly do you think you've improved the most?
Aubameyang: [Coach] Jürgen Klopp always demands that whenever we lose the ball, we try to win it back again as quickly as possible. Tactically, I wasn't able to do what he wanted last season perfectly because I didn't understand the language and because it was a new world to me. Now I've improved a lot in this department. I also like being able to play both out wide and up front.
Interview by Alexis Menuge
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