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Watzke confident of Dortmund progress

Borussia Dortmund general manager Hans-Joachim Watzke believes his team have a good chance of progressing in the UEFA Champions League.

The Bundesliga champions were drawn against Ukrainian giants Shakhtar Donetsk in the first knockout round of Europe’s prestigious club competition.

And while Watzke is confident of making the quarter-finals, he is aware of the threat Shakhtar posses, with Mircea Lucescu’s men tasting defeat just once in 34 previous league fixtures.

“They (Shakhtar Donetsk) are a hard opponent,” Watzke said.

“Donetsk qualified in a very tough group, but in the last 16 you expect every opponent to be very strong, and therefore we will see.

“I think we have a good chance, but it’s not easy.

“There are no more easy games, these are two games where you have to be in top form, which we will try to be, and will be – therefore we have a good chance.

“We will not underestimate them because they have real quality.”

Dortmund were handed a showdown with Shakhtar after a successful qualifying campaign, where they finished ahead of Real Madrid in Group D, and Watzke stressed the importance of carrying that form into the last 16.

“What is important is to be in good shape, to be present,” Watzke said. “In February you must be fit in the second half of the league.

“We will approach this just like the group games, where we were also successful, so we will address it.”

The general manager also took time to praise the development of the Bundesliga in recent times.

“I think that German football has developed well over the last few years and will therefore be more and more successful,” he said.

“But you have to continue working – you can’t say that in three or four years – now is now, and at present German football is pretty successful.”

Thu 20 Dec, 2012
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