Football: Hummel's fired up

Football: Hummel's fired up
HUMBLE HUMMELS: Borussia Dortmund captain Mats Hummels shaking hands with fans outside the Fullerton Hotel yesterday.
PHOTO: AFP

They struggled in the first half of the campaign and eventually finished seventh in the Bundesliga, missing out on Champions League football next season.

Mats Hummels, captain of eight-time German champions Borussia Dortmund, vowed yesterday that history will not repeat itself in the upcoming campaign.

Speaking at a press conference at the Fullerton Hotel yesterday, the 26-year-old German World Cup winning central defender said: "We will have to prepare for this season better than we did for the previous; last year was difficult because we started with a few injuries.

"It was also very much about confidence - that became a big problem for us after losing a few games.

"We needed time to regain that confidence, and it's not a situation we want to repeat."

Dortmund will take on Malaysian Super League giants Johor Darul Takzim at the Larkin Stadium in Johor Baru tonight as part of the club's pre-season Asian Tour.

The team arrived in Singapore yesterday from Japan, where they beat J-League club Kawasaki Frontale 6-0 on Tuesday.

Boasting the likes of Shinji Kagawa, Marco Reus and Gabonese hotshot Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Dortmund, Champions League winners in 1997, are entering a new era after the departure of much-heralded coach Juergen Klopp. HOT SEAT

Klopp, who led the club to two Bundesliga titles in 2011 and 2012, and the Champions League final the following season, resigned after seven years at the helm. Former Mainz boss Thomas Tuchel, 41, is now in the hot seat.

Tuchel might not have any trophies to his name, but he was responsible for leading unfancied Mainz to a seventh-placed finish and a Europa League spot in 2013/14.

"It's only been 10 days (with the new coach), so it is difficult to tell you," Hummels said, when asked about any differences between Klopp and Tuchel.

"What (Tuchel) wants us to do with the ball, the way he talks and analyses games is different from Klopp.

"But, to really compare takes more time."

Hummels, who has been linked with English Premier League giants Manchester United over the past two years, has faith the club will move forward with Tuchel.

Despite the likes of Mario Goetze and Robert Lewandowski heading for the exit in recent seasons, Hummels says he is not yet ready to leave Dortmund, whose biggest signing in the off-season is midfielder Gonzalo Castro from Bayer Leverkusen.

"There have always been rumours about almost every one of our players, but I decided not to make the move this year," he said.

"Of course, when the big clubs are interested, and Manchester United are one of the biggest clubs in the world, it's an honour.

"But I decided I wanted to stay here.

aakasim@sph.com.sg

 


This article was first published on July 09, 2015.
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