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Oct 11, 2012

Xhaka surprised by Gladbach morale

Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka has revealed his surprise at the low morale in the club's dressing room, while he also says he will not change his attitude despite facing criticism.

Xhaka, 20, arrived at Monchengladbach from Basel in the summer, with the club also bringing in Alvaro Dominguez and Luuk de Jong to fill the boots of the outgoing Marco Reus, Dante and Roman Neustadter.

And the Switzerland international has found on arrival that, despite bringing in new signings, the selling of key players has left a dressing room feeling down with little hope for their season.

"After I arrived, I heard my new team-mates saying 'we have got to hope that we don't go down','' Xhaka told Tagesanzeiger.

"I thought to myself: what kind of a mentality is that? I did not know that from Basel, where everything was about winning.''

Monchengladbach have made a slow start to the season, currently sitting tenth in the Bundesliga, picking up just two wins from seven games.

And for Xhaka, the situation of not challenging for silverware is a new one after the success he experienced in Basel.

"My career has been very successful so far,'' he said. "In my Basel time, I picked up three titles and it was nothing but positive for two years running, but in Monchengladbach it was something new to me.

"The way I think just is not the same as the way they think in Gladbach."

It is this winning mentality in the Xhaka that has led to many in Germany believing the player has a bad attitude.

"I was told by journalists that I should not be so outspoken," Xhaka said. "I told them 'sorry, that is the way I am, I am not here to fight against relegation'.

"It was a huge transition for me, I work in a different way. I think about how I can win a game and not about how I cannot lose it.''

Xhaka's way of thinking has even led to him being involved in disputes with players in his own team. He clashed with goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen as the players returned to the dressing room at half-time of a Europa League game against Fenerbahce recently.

He has since warned his team-mate not to treat him like a child.

"Not even my parents act with me the way he did,'' he said. "He is the same age as me and I don't just accept anything. We had a dispute in the tunnel and I thought I was imagining things.

"We had a discussion the day after and I made it clear that I don't accept everything. Then it comes across that I am an arrogant Swiss, but I don't care - I know what I am capable of.''

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