Poulsen distances Leipzig from Leicester


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Leipzig, who was only formed in 2009, has enjoyed a meteoric rise through the leagues in Germany and is floating on a cloud this term having stormed to the top of the Bundesliga.

After 12 matches, Leipzig is three points clear of reigning champion and Bavarian powerhouse Bayern Munich, and its unbeaten start to the season is a record for a newly promoted side.

Leipzig, which has won seven consecutive league matches, has unsurprisingly drawn comparisons to Leicester, who upset the odds to clinch a remarkable top-flight title in England last season under wily veteran Claudio Ranieri.

But Denmark international Poulsen says it is premature to discuss such similarities.

Speaking to Omnisport, Poulsen said: "We aren't thinking in that way at the moment.

"We just want to continue playing as well as we do. Let's see how far it can take us.   

"We aren't looking around to compare us to anyone else. We aren't Leicester and they are not us. The world changes, the team's totally different, the league is completely different. There is no need to compare us to Leicester."   

Ralph Hasenhuttl's side have beaten the likes of Borussia Dortmund, Werder Bremen and Bayer Leverkusen during its stunning first season in the Bundesliga.

Many in the game have been surprised by Leipzig's exploits this season, and Poulsen says even the players have been taken aback by how quickly they have adapted to lift in the Bundesliga.

"We know we are good but we didn't know we were that good already," Poulsen said. "We developed a team spirit so fast in the Bundesliga. It came as a surprise.  

"We played some good games in pre-season but from the first game until now, to be unbeaten is unbelievable. Continuing these good performances every week, it's still surprising.   

"We have a good team and a good spirit. We have this spirit from last season when we got promoted. Everyone had this good feeling after promotion and we took it into this season. 

"We have a lot of confidence at the moment. Every week, our confidence is getting bigger. But we still know we have to keep working hard because we are a new team in the league.   

"We are flying on this cloud where everything is going fantastically but we have to focus on giving everything in every game. We know there are a lot of good teams in this league. If we stop doing so, it will become difficult."   

Talk of Leipzig defying the odds to win the title may be dominating the Bundesliga agenda, but Poulsen insists the team's focus is solely on cementing themselves in the league.

"It's still a long time to go in the season, only 12 matches have been played. We have our goals to play a season without any doubt that we will stay in the league. We are almost close to that," he added ahead of Saturday's hosting of a resurgent Schalke - unbeaten in seven games.

"Talking about the title it's not the right time to do that. We are focusing on our own game. To do otherwise would be stupid.   

"We know when we are doing good, attention is getting bigger. But we have to focus on ourselves and not worry about what the media are typing and what everyone is thinking.   

"We just want to continue this streak we have now, try and hold onto that and see how far it can take us."  

With the backing of energy drinks giant Red Bull, Leipzig has spread its wings this season, scoring a league-high 27 goals after last week's 4-1 rout of Freiburg. 

"We have been playing this attacking brand of football since I came here three and a half years ago," Poulsen said. 

"I like this brand of football, the fans do too. It's attractive football. Some games normally you could almost fall asleep but when you see us play you don't fall asleep.   

"It's satisfying for us players because it's also a lot of fun."  

Former Stuttgart star Timo Werner, 20, has played a key role in Leipzig's run this season with seven league goals, but Poulsen joked: "He didn't indicate that type of form in the pre-season! 

"But he showed it as soon as the league started. You can see why he already has over 100 Bundesliga games. He is a very good player and he has adapted very quickly."