Marco Rose began his statement with an apology. On Wednesday night, the Borussia Dortmund coach did not initially want to apologize for the fact that his team were so lucky in the 1-0 win over his former club FSV Mainz 05, but only wanted to explain why he was wearing a mask at a press conference.
He was still spared from the insidious virus, which is why mouth and nose protection in a well-stocked press room seemed somehow safer to him, as the 45-year-old was greeted from the podium by Mainz board member Christian Heidel, who was leaning against the wall in a friendly manner. He is very well known as an active player at the old Bruchweg Stadium. As a coach, the Leipzig native has rarely been in a good mood in the recent past, as after a hard-earned catch-up match against zero-five, who was surprisingly resilient after the coronavirus outbreak en masse.
The second unadorned match 1-0 in four days leaves Westphalia four points behind Bayern Munich – whether a special form of rumble football will make the title fight exciting again remains uncertain, but Rose emphasized not without reason that his goal is always no To create a group capable of winning the big matches. On the one hand, he would now love to hear phrases like those from national player Emery Kahn that “the team has come close together”. On the other hand: “It’s easy to say after a game like this.” Someone (yet) does not trust the alliance. But what the league coach confirmed after what he considered a “classy match”: “We didn’t have a big problem with each other, maybe with the performance mentality.”
Without the improvement of football, the championship battle that you missed for so long will not happen
But “it’s essential to get all the basics on the field – it’s not just about football.” The football guru had whispered this to footballers before the power outages in cup competitions against rivals such as FC St Pauli (the DFB Cup) or Glasgow Rangers (European League), but the Bundesliga still offers one last chance to do that grim picture. of the lost season. In this regard, black and yellow sent an important signal.
Rose explained: “There are so few teams building such dominance in Mainz that it is worrying. We were the lucky winners. We didn’t have a lot of chances and we didn’t have control.” But that is not always the goal, as veteran Axel Witsel emphasized: “Sometimes you can’t play good football, you just have to win.” It was the 33-year-old Belgian who pushed the ball over the goal line after a cross from a free kick by Giovanni Reina (87th place). Pioneer Kahn wanted to capitalize on this sense of accomplishment: “Victory tastes so good.”
The national player had once again led an emergency defense streak with trusted Felix Paslak, and the often forgotten and ill Marin Pongrasic was almost cut off by Nico Schulz. “I think it’s extraordinary that we kept two clean sheets for the second time in this series,” Rose explained, “the last two games of the group, how the boys fight and perform, you can talk about identification. Cologne”. Hard and honest work is also the order of the day on Sunday evening, when the BVB will already know if world champions Bayern Munich may have beaten the points again in the home game against Union Berlin.
“We lack depth towards the goal,” coach Rose criticized.
Dortmund coaches and players are forced to focus only on the tasks of the league, and according to the current situation, Rose gives the grade “Good”, that is, two degrees in a row, because: “In terms of points, it is difficult”. In fact, BVB had a solid lead ahead of third-placed Bayer Leverkusen (11 points) and fourth-placed RB Leipzig (12). Rose doesn’t really want to look over the top. Responding with a smile to the unwarranted accusations about his team’s footballing shortcomings, which can be read from the lack of mass flow and an almost frightening lack of chances, that question would be ruled out.
He himself knows that the championship fight he’s been missing for so long won’t really happen without an improvement in football. Biggest flaw right now: “We lack depth in the direction of the target.” But why did he bring the long-injured Erling Haaland back to life with short missions? The striker’s departure to Manchester City may be long over at the end of the season – remarks made by BVB advisor Matthias Sammer during the week indicated – but the coach is still counting on the 21-year-old Norwegian. Will the difference in his last weeks in Dortmund. “Everyone knows how important Erling is,” Rose said. “I hope he’s still healthy now and we can improve on his form.” That will be sorely needed at the latest until the head-to-head against Bayern on Day 31.