Borussia Dortmund captain Marco Reus wants his team-mates to harness the pain of losing the Bundesliga title into a weapon for next season.
Reus was seemingly on the verge of winning his first Bundesliga title last season as Dortmund held a nine-point lead over rivals Bayern Munich towards the end of December.
Lucien Favre’s side were only getting stronger as things progressed, with the experienced Reus and youngsters like Jadon Sancho blending in perfectly at Signal Iduna Park.
But a mid-season slump saw Dortmund’s campaign fall apart as the club crashed out of the Champions League last-16 stage to Tottenham and went on a five-match winless run.
This enabled an in-form Bayern Munich to pounce on their rivals, whom they thrashed 5-0 in April to put the title race in their control.
Despite beating Eintracht Frankfurt on the final day, the damage was already done for Dortmund as Bayern won a seventh title in a row and denied their rivals a first once since 2012.
“It hurt,” Reus told Kicker.
“Because the chance this time was just unbelievably big, there was a lot more in it for us.
“I believe that it will help us in the future, which may be the positive thing about it – everyone has now gained experience. Our goal must, therefore, be to stay at the top of the table and then get the title.”
Reus played a central role in Dortmund’s title challenge last term and was awarded the VDV Player of the Season prize for his efforts.
However, it wasn’t enough in the end with the 30-year-old now beginning to run out of time to win his maiden league crown.
“My greed has been extremely pronounced since my first day at BVB, but the closer to the end of my own career I get, the more intense it is,” admitted Reus.
“Since coming to Dortmund, we’ve been close to it a few times, but in the next two or three years, things have to work out, and I’ll do anything for it.”
BVB have already brought in reinforcements this summer in Thorgan Hazard, Nico Schulz and Julian Brandt.
“I am glad that we have two top people from the national team, which is good for us. It means even more quality and depth,” added Reus.
“Especially in the second half of the season we were lacking the necessary power due to some injuries, so I think it’s good and right that the competition gets even bigger.
“If you have big goals – and we do – then you need a lot of top-class players. And we will certainly get them with [Schulz and Brandt].”
Reus scored 17 times and provided 11 assists in 27 Bundesliga appearances last season.