Marcel Schmelzer is hoping for a defensive improvement from Borussia Dortmund in the second half of the Bundesliga season.
But a habit of conceding an early goal meant that Schmelzer's side have often played catch-up, carving out three consecutive draws immediately before the Winterpause to keep the five-time champions in touch with the sides above them going in to the second half of the season.
"Our primary objective is to stop falling behind as often – and especially not to the opposition's first chance of the match," the Dortmund skipper told the club's official website. "If you manage that, you only need to score the one goal, and not two."
One player absent from Dortmund's winter camp is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who is with host country Gabon at the Africa Cup of Nations. The Bundesliga’s top scorer with 16 goals, Aubameyang could be away until 5 February, but Schmelzer is confident that fellow striker Adrian Ramos can provide Dortmund with the necessary firepower up front.
"Auba is simply irreplaceable. But we have got great quality on the bench with Adrian. He is a great guy and a very good football player. We trust him completely."
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