Marco Reus urged Borussia Dortmund not to be distracted by Der Klassiker as they prepare to face SV Darmstadt 98 on Wednesday.
Reus & Co. will play host to FC Bayern München on Saturday (kick-off 18:30CET/17:30GMT) with the aim of closing the to the league leaders.
Following Sunday's defeat of TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, the Germany international warned Thomas Tuchel's men that they must first focus on the lesser-known names of Darmstadt (kick-off 20:00CET/19:00GMT) before they can turn their attentions to facing the Bundesliga record champions.
Question: Marco Reus, in the end it was a deserved win, but for 60 minutes against Hoffenheim, things were tough. What happened?
Marco Reus: Hoffenheim are a very compact side and defended with a back five against us. That made things really difficult. The red card was a boost and allowed us to play our game. We put more pressure on them, and that makes it difficult for any opponent to hold out.
Question: BVB had already played on Thursday night in Porto; in spite of that, it was your opponents who were struggling physically at the end. Had you planned on that?
Reus: We knew that they couldn't keep up playing like that for the full 90 minutes. They put in a lot of effort, and were always looking to have a man over. We said at half-time that we had to be patient and pass the ball quicker. We knew Hoffenheim would get tired It was just important for us to stay focused and keep cool in front of goal.
Question: The supersub Adrian Ramos then struck, grabbing his third goal of the season to make it 2-1…
Reus: I'm absolutely delighted for Adrian. He's an incredible guy and a happy person with great qualities. It was nice and important for both him and us that he scored that goal.
Question: You almost scored yourself from a free-kick in the first half…
Reus: You always need a bit of luck at a free-kick. It all comes down to how well you strike the ball. Mine was struck a little bit weakly, which meant [Oliver] Baumann could get across to it.
Question: Dortmund have had five games in 16 days, and there is no let-up in the rhythm. How is everyone coping?
Reus: Almost all the players have had a similar workload in recent seasons. It's not a problem actually. We've won again and we're still unbeaten after nine games in all competitions in the Rückrunde. Things are going well even if sometimes it's difficult to win games, just as it was in the first half of the season. We also win these matches because we keep our heads, like we did in the second half against Hoffenheim.
Question: At the weekend you are in action in Der Klassiker against FC Bayern. How much are you looking forward to that?
Reus: We have the game against Darmstadt on Wednesday first. If we don't win there, there's no point in talking about Bayern. We first have to focus on Darmstadt, which will be a difficult game on a tricky pitch.
Question: Is that a problem for a team like BVB that likes to let the ball do the running?
Reus: Darmstadt also have to cope with the pitch, and we have to handle it because we will want to dictate play. It's important we're at it from the off and try to score an early goal.