Marco Reus accepts Borussia Dortmund require a "perfect season" if they are to finally end Bayern Munich's Bundesliga dominance.
Bayern took 58 points out of a possible 60 from their last 20 games of the 2019-20 campaign to win the league for an eighth successive season, with Dortmund 13 points behind in second place.
BVB were just four points behind Bayern when the season resumed in May after the coronavirus-enforced break, but the Bavarian club never looked back after Joshua Kimmich scored the winner at Signal Iduna Park on May 26.
Dortmund have finished runners-up to Bayern in five of the previous eight seasons and BVB captain Reus acknowledged his team have to be virtually flawless.
"There's a lot of speculation it's because of this, or that, but you basically have to have a perfect season," he told BVB TV.
"Last year we had an almost perfect season and this year... I wouldn't say it was almost perfect because there were too many games before Christmas when we dropped points - Paderborn, Frankfurt, Freiburg - those games in particular, with goals in the 90th minute. Of course, other clubs can say the same.
"But in the second half of the season we showed that we'd got that consistency.
"I think since Lucien [Favre] came in we've gained that consistency throughout the season. It hasn't yet been enough to win the big prize, but you can see that we've got closer."
Reus, who is still yet to win a Bundesliga title, feels beating Bayern in Munich would be a huge step for Dortmund.
In the previous three seasons, Bayern have beaten Dortmund 6-0, 5-0 and 4-0 in the Bundesliga, and BVB's most recent league win in Munich was in April 2014 when Reus scored in a 3-0 victory.
"Basically, it's important to win the games against Bayern as they're our main rivals," Reus said.
"That's what will make the main difference and it has made the difference in the last few years.
"We've looked good in the home games, apart from this season when we lost, but we have to start winning away games in Munich to give ourselves the best chance of winning the title.
"The most important thing for me is to get that consistency in our performances and in our results, and if we get that we'll win the league.
"Over the last eight years Bayern have been better at it than every other club and we're on the right track to break through that ceiling.
"We have to keep going and keep working hard on that consistency in our performances and results.
"But ultimately if you win a game 1-0 at the weekend, two days later no one cares how you won the game and everyone just looks at the result.
"That's how it is for Bayern - they don't win every game 4-0 or 5-0 with scintillating football. They simply win their games and that's what makes you German champions."