Following an emphatic 4-0 win over Union Berlin to start the new campaign, RB Leipzig goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi believes his side can be Bundesliga title contenders in 2019/20.
Having only been promoted to the top flight of German football for the first time in their history in 2016, RB Leipzig have made a rapid ascent with a couple of top-three finishes in the past three seasons.
With Bayern and Dortmund battling it out for the title until the final day last term, Die Roten Bullen comfortably cruised to third place but also boasted the best defensive record in the entire competition.
Gulacsi played a pivotal role in their resoluteness at the back as he kept a league-high 16 clean sheets, and he notched his first of the new campaign in Sunday’s triumph over newly-promoted Union.
With Leipzig now firmly established as one of Germany’s bigger teams, their Hungarian shot-stopper feels it is now time to take the next step and really challenge for top honours.
“We have a very young team still and we had a fantastic season last season,” Gulacsi told the Bundesliga’s official website.
“We thought ‘OK, let’s improve and try to make the gap to the top two teams a little bit smaller’.
“Of course we want to compete with those teams and I think we have the squad for that and potential in our team for that.”
Leipzig were always going to be favourites for their season opener against a spirited but inexperienced opposition.
But, having previously been given a real test by second-tier Osnabruck before prevailing 3-2 in the first round of the DFB-Pokal, new Leipzig manager Julian Nagelsmann seemed satisfied with the improvement in performance.
“Compared to the DFB-Pokal game, the boys stepped things up a gear,” said the former Hoffenheim boss.
“We were able to react well in certain situations.
“We wanted to have variety – including when he had possession. We had a good mix of possession and phases of counter-pressing.”
Die Roten Bullen are next in action on Sunday when they take on Eintracht Frankfurt at the Red Bull Arena.