Hummels wake-up call for quiet men of Dortmund

Oleh John Skilbeck 10 Disember 2019 11
Hummels wake-up call for quiet men of Dortmund

Mats Hummels has called for Borussia Dortmund to find their voice and become a big noise again after admitting the team can be "a bit quiet".

It is coming up to 23 years since Dortmund won their only Champions League title, and almost seven years since they last reached the final of Europe's top club competition.

Domestically, they have been left standing by Bayern Munich's dominance of the Bundesliga, with Dortmund's back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012 followed by seven in a row by the Bavarians.

Hummels swapped Bayern for Dortmund last June, joining for a second spell with the club, and the former BVB club captain believes that, as a senior figure in Lucien Favre's squad, he can play a motivating role.

"I try to fill the role with life and take responsibility. Especially on the pitch where I verbally drive, order and cheer," he said.

"It is already an issue in our team that sometimes we are a bit quiet. That is why it is very important that the leaders stand up."

Dortmund headed into the final round of Champions League group games with their last-16 hopes in the balance, targeting a home victory over Slavia Prague on Tuesday and hoping for Barcelona to deny Inter three points at San Siro.

Centre-back Hummels, who turns 31 next week, knew Dortmund could not afford a sleepy performance if they were to achieve their ambitions.

He told DAZN: "Parts of us sometimes have to be woken up a bit in the game. The 4-0 against Leverkusen [in September] sounds clear, but in fact we had big problems in the first 20 minutes.

"We sometimes go into the games and see how it works. Sometimes we turn the switch over only when there is no other way.

"If we get that under control, we can be a top team. But that is not a thing you change in one or two days. We have to work it out for ourselves. When you look at the training sessions, there has been a development in recent weeks: mentality, attitude and sharpness."

Dortmund sit third in the Bundesliga, having slipped off the pace in November when thumped 4-0 by Bayern and held 3-3 by Paderborn, yet a 5-0 weekend win over Fortuna Dusseldorf, achieved without the suspended Hummels, showed what potential they have.

"We just look at our performances - and they were very changeable in the current season. But nothing is lost yet," Hummels said.

"In the Bundesliga, no team really marches ahead. This is mainly because the level - and I see that contrary to what is often written - clearly increases. The small teams no longer travel to Dortmund or Munich to be shot down. They have become much stronger tactically and individually and have a clear plan. That's why the well-known teams lose many more points."

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