Real out to end poor run in Germany
Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho said the Spanish giants must break their poor record in Germany when they face Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Wednesday.
"We have a history of problems playing on German soil, we have only one win here, they are always hard games against strong teams," said the 49-year-old.
Despite having been European champions nine times, Real have an appalling record away to German opposition and in their 23 previous matches in Germany they have suffered 16 losses and their single victory was 12 years ago.
A 3-2 victory at Bayer Leverkusen in September 2000 is Madrid's only previous success in Germany, but Dortmund face a tough task to halt Real after the Spanish thrashed Ajax 4-1 in Amsterdam three weeks ago.
The Real coach said his team's disastrous record in Germany would not present any psychological problems to the current squad.
"We have lost here before because the opponents are always very good, not by any psychological problems," he said.
"It's difficult to play against teams that are ambitious as we are - and nothing more complicated than that."
With his team top of Group D, Mourinho has made no secret of his desire to win a tenth European title with Real to add to his previous Champions League success with Inter Milan and Porto.
Real have scored seven goals so far in the group stages, more than any other team, while star Cristiano Ronaldo is the competition's top-scorer with four goals.
"It's a difficult match in a difficult group," said Mourinho.
"This is not the sort of group where you have qualified after three games.
"We want to make sure we stay in the Champions League this winter."
Despite winning the Bundesliga title for the last two seasons, Dortmund have made a poor start to their domestic season.
Their 2-1 home defeat to neighbours Schalke 04 on Saturday leaves them with just one win in their last six games.
There are security concerns here after rival Borussia and Schalke 04 fans rioted here on Saturday with 180 arrests made and 11 people injured, including eight police officers.
Dortmund are currently 12 points behind leaders Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, but Mourinho says the hosts must be respected.
"I won't say they have weaknesses, because they are a good team, but there are a few little weak points," he said.
"They are a good team and we have to respect them."
The Real boss said he has no injury concerns ahead of kick off at the sold-out Signal Iduna Park stadium with 3 000 Madrid fans expected amongst the 65 829-strong crowd.
After reports in the Spanish media goalkeeper Iker Casillas divulged team secrets to cause trouble for Mourinho in a power struggle, the Real boss dismissed any talk of problems between them.
"For me, the important thing is that we have confidence in the goalkeeper and he has confidence in himself, which is even more important," said Mourinho.
"He knows all this and is not a young man who is to be affected by a situation of this kind."