|ESPNsoccernet: UEFA Champions League|
Borussia Dortmund chief executive Aki Watzke believes his side have improved after last season's Champions League campaign and as a result will not be caught cold when they kick off their campaign against Ajax on Tuesday.
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Dortmund suffered a torrid time in Europe last year, finishing bottom of a group containing Arsenal, Marseille and Olympiakos.
In stark contrast however, they dominated the Bundesliga, winning the title with a record-breaking 81 points, yet they still had to live with Bayern Munich producing an impressive display in Europe as they lost the final to Chelsea on penalties.
And after being told by critics that 'Dortmund are not made for Europe', the German champions are determined to silence the doubters this time around.
"We want to and we will go into the matches with a lot of self-confidence," said Watzke. "We know this is a tough group. But we are German champions after all, we are Borussia Dortmund. We will not hide. We have learned our lesson, of that I'm certain."
Dortmund director of football Michael Zorc, who was part of the team which lost 3-0 on aggregate to Ajax in the 1996 Champions League quarter final, also believes the side have learnt their lesson from last season.
"We have to be there as a team and have to be really strong, to have a chance to make it out of this group," he said. "We were too respectful in some games last season and tried to do too much in other matches and made a lof of mistakes instead of playing our match. Lack of experience is certainly a problem."
Experience is something club boss Jurgen Klopp believes is very important in Europe and something they lacked last campaign.
Dortmund won only four points in their group, and despite trying to force through their unique style of football, made too many individual mistakes to make a lasting impression.
"Experience can not be bought in bottles. You have to earn it," said Klopp. "If you begin to be successful, it is just perfectly normal you don't get everything at once."