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Klopp keen for Euro glory

Borussia Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp is confident his side will prove themselves in the Champions League this season.

Ahead of their opening Group D match against Ajax at Signal Iduna Park, Klopp defended the German champions against suggestions that they could not compete with Europe’s best.

Last season they were knocked out of the group stage with just one win and one draw from six matches.

But after consecutive Bundesliga titles and 31 undefeated domestic matches, Klopp believes it will be different this season.

“We’ve had to justify our domestic success on the European stage because we haven’t been successful internationally. But if you start to be a successful team domestically, its normal to have to work towards gaining more success.

“We have international experience, and we know that our football works internationally too. But you can’t make mistakes at this level, and we have made big mistakes in previous years – bigger than in the Bundesliga. Not because of our rivals, but the big teams exploited them.

“Like I said we will play our game with a different style. We will try to do that more concentrated and more consequent that in the last year.

“We didn`t kept our style a hundred percent, that’s it. We just started to grow better. So keep watching and see if we made a step.”

And midfielder Sebastian Kehl said he is looking forward the feeling of being back in Europe’s top club competition.

“When we enter the stadium tomorrow it will be a great picture for us. The atmosphere will be great and we want to try everything, that the mood will stay great. That would be the best for everybody.”

Meanwhile, Ajax manager Frank de Boer is confident that Ajax can get their Champions League campaign off to a positive start.

De Boer is hoping his players learned from their past experience in the competition and can now showcase their improvement with a fearless showing in Germany.

“The point is that we minimise our number of mistakes,” De Boer told Algemeen Dagblad.

“Last year we played quite well against Real Madrid, but after we carelessly lost possession, the ball ended up in the back of our net.

“Hopefully we have learned from this, although not everyone in our team has Champions League experience.

“It is a difficult task, but of course we have a chance – if we dare to play football.”

Tue 18 September, 2012
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