Sebastian Kehl does not expect Borussia Dortmund to overturn Bayern Munich’s 12-point lead and has given up on winning the Bundesliga.
Pep Guardiola’s defending champions are the only side in the German top flight to remain unbeaten after the first half of the season, and Kehl admits it will be “nearly impossible” to catch them in the title race.
Dortmund fell further off the pace after a disappointing December that saw them take one point from a possible nine, leaving them fourth going in the mid-season break and battling with Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen for a top-three spot.
A second-place finish is what Kehl is now targeting and the midfielder believes Dortmund have what it takes to achieve it.
“The big comeback? Well, it’s nearly impossible to catch up with Bayern but our target is to be in second place,” he said.
“All in all we are pretty convinced we will be there at the end of the season.
“There are many objectives we have as a team. Being more successful, getting back to the football we used to play, climbing up in the standings.
“These are the objectives we have as a team, but also everybody has personal ones. Their health is one of the biggest wishes.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us. There will be a lot of training. That’s why we can be excited to have an intensive time and then to get started all over again.”
Dortmund return to league action at the end of January against Augsburg, and face Zenit St Petersburg in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League.