February 13, 2013
Lucescu wary of Dortmund test
Shakhtar coach Mircea Lucescu is expecting a tough challenge from Borussia Dortmund when the two meet in the first leg of their Champions League first knockout round tie on Wednesday.
Dortmund topped Group D without losing a game to reach the knockout stages, no mean feat when the other teams in the group were Manchester City, Real Madrid and Ajax.
Lucescu guided Shakhtar to second place in their group, at the expense of reigning European champions Chelsea, but expects a stern test from Dortmund.
"Dortmund won the strongest group in this season's competition and that gives you an idea of how good they are,'' he said.
"Maybe you wouldn't call Borussia superstars but their team play has been perfectly fine-tuned. No one else in the Bundesliga plays such a passing and flowing game as Dortmund, but we have to think about our own preparations before thinking of the other team.
"I hope the class and experience of our players will allow us to approach the Borussia games in top shape and so qualify for the quarter-finals.''
Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp will take the reigning German champions to Ukraine fully concentrated on navigating his way through to the latter stages of the competition.
Chelsea have long been linked with a move for Klopp to replace interim manager Rafael Benitez in the summer but the 45-year-old is happy to stay put.
"I enjoy what I'm doing here at Dortmund,'' he said.
"It's a great club, a great city, everything is okay. It's not about the money for me. I have enough to eat three times a day. It's a big honour, but in this moment I'm not on the market, I'm sorry.''
Shakhtar have not played a competitive fixture since losing on the final matchday of the group phase to Juventus whilst Dortmund go in to the tie on the back of a surprise 4-1 home defeat to Hamburg at the weekend and Klopp is determined not to suffer back-to-back losses.
"We weren't good against Hamburg and deserved to lose,'' he said. "We'll be better on Wednesday.''