By Carsten Lappe, dpa
Borussia Moenchengladbach are dreaming of a first Bundesliga title since 1977. Captain Lars Stindl tells dpa that others are favourites but that they have ambitions as well to achieve big things.
Jerez de la Frontera, Spain (dpa) – Borussia Moenchengladbach captain Lars Stindl rates mighty Bayern Munich top favourites to win another Bundesliga title but won’t count out his own team either.
Gladbach rank second in the league after an impressive first half of the season, and Stindl told dpa at their winter break training camp in Spain that not only the fans are dreaming of a first title since 1977.
“Of course we can read the table. Second place didn’t happen by chance, we worked hard for this,” the 31-year-old said.
“Bayern are always favourites. Even after this not so good first half with the change at helm,” Stindl said.
“Leipzig are doing well, they played a very good first half. And we are two points back and played a very good first half as well. We are happy to be part of this. But we have ambitions, we have dreams, we will try to give our all in the second half.”
Gladbach, who restart the league next week Friday with a tricky game at fifth-placed Schalke, are two points behind RB Leipzig and two ahead of the seven-time reigning champions Munich who lie third.
Stindl said that the first 17 matches with 11 wins are “an incentive and a stimulus” to perform well in the second half of the campaign, doing better than last year where they came out of hibernation with three wins but then struggled.
Sports director Max Eberl agreed that “of course we are dreaming and have ambitions.”
Therefore Eberl has ruled out selling players in the Januarytransfer window, although coach Marco Rose could face grumbling players because the exit in the German Cup and Europe gives him little chance to rotate his big squad.
“I am relaxed although I know I will have to make tough decisions,” Rose told Thursday’s edition of Kicker sports magazine.
Rose came to Gladbach in summer from RB Salzburg and has received a lot of praise, including from the 11-times capped Stindl.
“He is very ambitious. He tries to transfer that directly to the players which is very positive. The coach doesn’t tolerate complacency. He goes forward and wants to optimise success to the maximum,” Stindl said.
The forward, who was made captain by Rose in summer, faces stiff competition in a competitive forward line from the likes of Marcus Thuram, Alassane Plea and Breel Embolo.
But Stindl said he wants to contribute by “playing games, scoring the odd goal and setting up goals.”
At Gladbach since 2015, he also wants tgo contribute beyond his current contract which runs until 2021.
“I can imagine staying longer. I feel comfortable here,” Stindl said.