Borussia Dortmund midfielder Gonzalo Castro claims his team-mates have not spoken much about Jurgen Klopp’s return to Signal Iduna Park with Liverpool.
Dortmund host the Premier League side and their former boss on Thursday in what is set to be an emotionally charged first leg of the Europa League quarter-final tie.
Klopp enjoyed phenomenal success at Dortmund, crowned by back-to-back Bundesliga titles in 2010-11 and 2011-12.
But Castro joined the club from Bayer Leverkusen at the end the 48-year-old’s reign as coach in May last year and appears to be benefiting from the distance that grants him.
“We’re not affected by the return of Klopp. We haven’t really talked about it,” he told a pre-match news conference.
“We need to perform well and forget about Klopp for the moment.
“We need to prove we’re the better side and produce a similar type of performance to the one we produced against Tottenham [in the last 16] over two legs.”
Klopp’s high-pressing, intense style of play became world-renowned at Dortmund, although Castro points out this means his team-mates know exactly what to expect from Liverpool.
“We know Klopp. Liverpool are going to press and try to prevent us having possession, but we’ll play our own game,” he added.
“I don’t think it’s the first time players have come up against a former manager.
“We’re taking it seriously so it doesn’t matter what our opponents do – it’s down to us to perform.”