Munich - Borussia Dortmund centre-back was visibly downhearted after his side's late Klassiker defeat to FC Bayern München on Saturday, having unwittingly played a key role in the 2-1 reverse - his side's seventh defeat of the season so far.
Speaking after the final whistle, the 25-year-old was refreshingly open and self-critical of his contribution to the match which has left BVB in the relegation zone.
Question: Neven Subotic, was the reason for the defeat the way you approached the second half?
Neven Subotic: During the break we knew Bayern would start the second half aggressively as obviously they weren’t keen on losing at home. We were prepared for that. We tried to keep things tight at the back and to create a few chances at the other end. We did that to a certain extent - we had one or two opportunities to score again.
Question: How does it feel losing here?
Subotic: It hurts, especially after we scored the important first goal to go 1-0 up - that’s always the hardest thing in football. Marco [Reus] and Auba [Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang] combined to score a wonderful goal and it’s a shame it was worth nothing in the end in terms of points. We could have really done with the points in the Bundesliga right now because we’re not at all happy with the position we’re in.
Question: What can you say about the penalty?
Subotic: I haven’t seen a replay of it. When I realised he [Franck Ribery] was going for goal of course I tried to stop him but I couldn’t really say with any certainty that it all happened as I think it did until I see it again.
Question: Dortmund are now down in the relegation zone. What kind of psychological impact does that have on you?
Subotic: That’s the situation we’re in and we just have to deal with it. Next week we’ve got a game against Galatasaray and we need to play well. That’s the next opportunity for all of us to play well and to show the fans and other teams that we can do better than we have been doing. But we’ve been saying that for a while now and in the Champions League we’ve actually done pretty well. But in the Bundesliga we failed because I made two mistakes. Hopefully we can build our self confidence again in midweek to go into the game against Gladbach with our heads held higher than they are right now.
Question: How frustrated are you and the team?
Subotic: We’re very frustrated, me especially because I was directly involved in both of the goals we conceded. I could probably have done things differently in both situations. It’s definitely a nadir for us, particularly after we played well in the first half, when I think we deserved to go in front. Unfortunately my mistakes led to two goals and they won, so it’s extremely disappointing.
Question: Do you think Dortmund relied too heavily on Roman Weidenfeller in the second half, given that he was in outstanding form?
Subotic: No, our plan wasn’t to rely on our goalkeeper keeping balls out, absolutely not. We wanted to stay solid at the back but it was clear that Bayern would up the tempo in the second half as the home team. It’s a shame.
Question: Will it be possible to simply block out your current league position in the next game?
Subotic: I don’t think we need to change our style of play just because we’re low down in the table at the moment. You could see today that we’ve got a lot of quality in the squad and were in even the lead for a long time against Bayern. We managed to create a few chances too, so that proves that our form isn’t too bad. I think the defeat was mainly down to the mistakes I made.
Jonathan Stockitt reporting from Munich