Rose: “We want to be rewarded in Dortmund”
During today’s pre-match press conference ahead of the Foals’ opening Bundesliga fixture at Borussia Dortmund on Saturday evening (18:30 CEST), head coach Marco Rose and sporting director Max Eberl spoke about the team’s personnel situation, the upcoming opponents and the number of fans permitted to attend the match in Dortmund.
Head coach Marco Rose on…
…the personnel: Marcus Thuram and Alassane Plea will be an option for Saturday, but aren’t 100 per cent yet. The game in Dortmund will still be too soon for Denis Zakaria. I don’t think that we’ll be able to expect him to return before the next international break. Breel Embolo (ankle injury), Valentino Lazaro (calf muscle injury), László Bénes (ankle ligament injury), Andreas Poulsen (shoulder operation) and Julio Villalba (muscle problems) will also all be unavailable for Saturday’s game.
…the upcoming opponents: Dortmund have the same coach as they did last season, and their squad has also remained relatively unchanged. We’re expecting to face a strong Dortmund side that will look to attack often. We know what to expect and hold our opponents in high regard; however we still always believe that we can manage to get a result against them. Our games against Dortmund have been evenly matched of late. If you want to be rewarded against Dortmund, then you cannot allow yourself to make many mistakes over the course of those 90 minutes. Dortmund have a very talented squad. It's always a challenge against them, but one we won't shy away from. It would be great to finally get the reward we deserve against them.
…Jude Bellingham, Dortmund’s young star: Lately, Dortmund have tried to be more aggressive out of possession and to pressure their opponents early. Bellingham already knows how to do that. He wants to press, win the ball and go on the attack.
…the 10,000 fans in Dortmund: We’re excited that there will be fans in the stands on Saturday, even if they are from Dortmund. We’ve already played two games with 300 fans in attendance, which was pretty emotional for us. We’re expecting a good atmosphere in Dortmund with 10,000 fans in attendance. Hopefully, we’ll be playing in front of sold-out crowds sometime soon again, but this is a good first step.
…Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge being quoted as saying that the Foals remain strong title contenders: We know to value his words. We enjoy hearing that and are happy to be seen as such. We’ve always said that we have a great team. If everyone is fit and healthy, then I think we have the ability to pick up points against any team in the league. Right now, we have several injured players. But, even when we were dealing with a similar situation at the end of last season we still managed to prove that we can compete. That’s why we’re heading to Dortmund with confidence.
Sporting director Max Eberl on…
…the recent results against Dortmund: During my playing career at Gladbach, I did not often win against Dortmund. We had a phase like that. However, I don’t think that Dortmund are our bogey team, because we’ve played well against them in the past. Across all three of our meetings last year – both in the Bundesliga and the DFB-Pokal – we came close to picking up points against them. Now, we want to try again this season. That’s the opportunity that a new season brings.
…Marco Reus: I’m still in touch with Marco. He took a big leap back then and underwent a strong development. When he left Dortmund’s academy, he managed to kick-start his career at Aachen and here at Gladbach. I’m happy that Marco has recovered from injury. Unfortunately, he has not always had an easy go of it in Dortmund. It’s nice that he will be on the pitch against us on Saturday, because we want to beat Dortmund’s best team. Marco has scored often against us in the past, so we need to keep an eye on him and prevent him from doing so.