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Dortmund deserve criticism, admits Klopp

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BERLIN, Germany, February 5 – Jurgen Klopp admits relegation-threatened Borussia Dortmund deserve to be criticised after their own fans jeered their 11th defeat of the season to stay bottom of the Bundesliga.

Dortmund slumped again in Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat at home to fourth-placed Augsburg, who played the last 20 minutes with ten men.

Borussia are desperately low on confidence and have just three league games before their Champions League last 16, first-leg clash at Italian league leaders Juventus.

The 2011 and 2012 German champions are facing their first relegation since 1972, but have another chance to claim some badly needed points at fellow strugglers Freiburg on Saturday.

Borussia’s passionate fans voiced their frustrations with a chorus of whistles after the Augsburg match as veteran goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller and captain Mats Hummels approached the terraces to address their disgruntlement.

“The result hurts, but we can’t pretend that we had nothing to do with the outcome,” admitted Dortmund’s head coach Klopp.

“We didn’t do anything with our main chances, so there’s nothing positive to report.

“After that performance the fans can accuse us of everything, but we will not give up.

“The fact that nerves play a role in a situation like this is beyond question. We need to get a grip. We have to give the boys some faith back. “It’s something we have already been working on the whole time, but clearly not enough.”

Dortmund’s next three opponents are all in the bottom half of the table as they face Freiburg, Mainz and Stuttgart in the next fortnight.

Dortmund’s trademark free-flowing football, which carried them to the 2013 Champions League final, has all but deserted them as they have scored just 18 goals in 19 league games.

Klopp has failed to find an adequate striker since Robert Lewandowski joined Bayern Munich before the start of the season and their goal-supply has dried up.

Ciro Immobile and Henrikh Mkhitaryan squandered clear chances to equalise late on against Augsburg.

“Our problem is simply that we are not going ahead in games,” said captain Mats Hummels. We can now expect to fight in the next 15 matches, anything else is a bonus. We know that it’s over 98 percent about fighting.

“The last two percent are about staying relaxed so that we make the right decisions in front of goal.”

Klopp has a contract until June 2018, but is clearly under pressure to turn results around.

He has been given a job guarantee by Dortmund CEO Hans-Jaochim Watzke on the back of four successful years which saw Dortmund always finish in the league’s top two.

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