With less than a month to go until Borussia Dortmund begin the defence of their Bundesliga title against SV Werder Bremen, coach Jürgen Klopp told UEFA.com that his side's preparations are going well. FC Oberneuland provide Die Schwarzgelben's first test of the season on 18 August – as they start their defence of the German Cup – but it is an improved UEFA Champions League campaign that Klopp singled out as an important objective for the upcoming season.
UEFA.com: How happy are you with your pre-season preparations?
Jürgen Klopp: We're quite happy with how everyone is getting along individually. The players who took part in the EURO are back with us after being on holiday for three weeks, so by the time the season starts, the whole squad will be at a consistently high level.
UEFA.com: How are the new signings getting on?
Klopp: We have a young team with a good temperament throughout, so newcomers find it easy to integrate. On top of that, we've only brought in lads who can really play football, and also whose character fits in well with our squad.
UEFA.com: Have you got any other signings planned?
Klopp: No, as things stand we'll be going into the new season with the current squad.
UEFA.com: What is the mood like in the team?
Klopp: The mood is good, but that's not always instrumental.
What's important is that everyone concentrates, and is 100% dedicated to the cause. After all, we start the season with nothing.
UEFA.com: Before the Bundesliga starts you have the German Cup first round, what do you hope to get out of the competition?
Klopp: Just like us when we won the cup this year, anyone who has been to the final in Berlin before knows just how great the competition is. Obviously we want to go far again. At the moment, though, whenever we talk about the cup, we don't look beyond our first opponents, Oberneuland.
UEFA.com: You were Bundesliga champions last season. What are your intentions this time around?
Klopp: We want to qualify for the Champions League again. It's as simple as that.
UEFA.com: Who do you think will win the league?
Klopp: Bayern have another great opportunity to finish top this season. There are a few other teams who stand a chance of winning it, such as ourselves, Schalke, Leverkusen or Stuttgart.
UEFA.com: What are your ambitions in the UEFA Champions League this season, given that Dortmund failed to get out of the group stage last time?
We want to make it through the group stage and still be in the competition by winter. We want to show that we have learnt from our experience last season.
UEFA.com: Is there anyone you particularly fancy playing in the group stage? Manchester United FC and Shinji Kagawa perhaps?
Jürgen Klopp: We're in pot four so we have to brace ourselves for a difficult group. Naturally, it would be nice to meet up with Shinji again at some point.
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