Thomas Tuchel is drawing inspiration from Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber as Borussia Dortmund attempt to haul in Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga.
Dortmund were thrashed 5-1 by Pep Guardiola’s side in October, but have since enjoyed superb form in the top flight to keep within eight points of the reigning champions at the summit.
Bayern travel to Signal Iduna Park early next month, but Dortmund must rely on favours from others if they are to stand a chance of winning their first league title since 2012.
Tuchel, however, says they cannot be distracted by Bayern’s results and highlighted Kerber’s shock victory over world number one Serena Williams in Melbourne as proof of the benefit of adopting the correct mindset.
“Angelique Kerber certainly didn’t think about Serena Williams before the match point in the semi-final,” he said on Friday. “Taking it step by step was the only way for her. I think there is no other way.
“It doesn’t make sense to hope and to get distracted [by what is happening at Bayern]. Maybe they are stronger now, maybe not. The situation for Bayern is just as it is, and for us the situation is just as it is.
“And it is very important in February that we show ourselves, that we follow our own way, and only our way. We need to maintain the unconditional spirit of this group.
“We must maintain this, stay healthy and stay eager, eager, eager to win more games. Those are the signs we want to show. And that’s where we have the highest expectations on ourselves. Everything else is none of our business.”
Dortmund face third-placed Hertha Berlin in the capital on Saturday.