Jurgen Klopp does not expect his Borussia Dortmund side to have one eye on next week’s DFB-Pokal semi-final against Bayern Munich when they face Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.
Victory over Bayern at the Allianz Arena next Tuesday will ensure Klopp ends his seven-year spell as head coach of Dortmund with a cup final against either Wolfsburg or Arminia Bielefeld.
The charismatic 47-year-old has endured a difficult season, with Dortmund languishing in the relegation zone before turning around their fortunes to surge up the Bundesliga table.
It would be a fitting end to Klopp’s reign if he was to sign off by lifting the DFB-Pokal, but for the time being his thoughts are only consumed by seeing off an Eintracht side only behind ninth-placed Dortmund on goal difference.
Klopp said: “The lads are on the right track. They want to leave their own mark on the end of this season. They are focused, they are concentrated. We would be crazy to bet everything on the cup.
“Now only Frankfurt counts, only the league counts, we are only one point away from being seventh. Coming from the 18th position and ending up there wouldn’t be so bad.”
Dortmund responded to their defeat by Borussia Monchengladbach by beating struggling Paderborn 3-0 in their first game since Klopp announced his upcoming departure.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Shinji Kagawa were on target in the second half of that encounter and Klopp is eager to build on that display in what he believes has the potential to be an entertaining clash with Thomas Schaaf’s men.
He added: “Remember the Paderborn game? The first half wasn’t as bad as people made it sound like and the second half was really great.
“In the past Thomas Schaaf always let Werder Bremen play spectacular football. If Frankfurt plays along, it will be a really good game.”
Eintracht were 2-0 winners over Dortmund back in November and Klopp is eager to make amends this weekend.
The Dortmund head coach said: “I still do not know until today how we could lose that game. It was one of our many bizarre games. We want to eliminate this weakness of ours.”
Klopp was boosted by the return to training of Marco Reus (adductor) Lukasz Piszczek (ankle) this week, but it remains to be seen if either player will feature on Saturday.
Gundogan (throat infection) will be monitored ahead of the game along with Kevin Grosskreutz (knock) and Sven Bender (muscular problem).
Eintracht were held to a goalless draw by Gladbach last weekend and are without a win in four matches.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!