After their away match in Mönchengladbach, BVB go up against another big rival within a fortnight in the battle for a UEFA Champions League spot. BVB must play away from home again. The 2017 DFB Cup winners will be hosted by last year's runner up in the league, Rasenball Leipzig.

"We began in eighth place and are currently in second, but we're not completely satisfied because we dropped two points on Monday. They would have given us some breathing space, but we didn't get them", said Peter Stöger prior to the duel in Leipzig: "Now we must take on the competition, and are the hunted. But that is something we are well capable of living with."

The Black and Yellows have a three-point lead over the Saxony men at the moment. "We come up against a very proactive team which has a lot of quality", was how Stöger portrayed the opposition, adding: "Both teams want to win this game." He went on to say, while looking back at the 1-1 draw on Monday against Augsburg: "It will be a completely different kind of fight, with more pace, more counterattacking play, and more space for both sides. It's an exciting task for us. The Leipzig players are highly dangerous. We are prepared. We will see on Saturday whether we actually implement what we plan to do."

Much has been said about the home game against Augsburg, both in public, and behind closed doors. You have got to be able to "speak about things openly when you have the feeling that something isn't right", emphasised the manager. "There is no difference of opinion about that. The players saw that our performance was not as good as it should have been." He continued: "There isn't one thing you can change overnight. You need to talk about things and go through training sequences."

"We are on the right path"

Overall, the training staff are "satisfied with the way everyone is working together, though not completely with the implementation" after just under three months in Dortmund. "We are on the right path", reassured Stöger. The medium-term aim is, according to him, "exactly what the people want to see: a more proactive approach, more interesting games, more offensive play, and that we win games decisively by scoring more goals. We all want to be playing power football across the full 90 minutes, while pinning the opposition back and winning 3-0 or 4-0. We are not able to do that right now. We march together into any headwind that might come our way."

What is required will be different for the away match in Leipzig than for the home game against a compact FC Augsburg. Personnel problems in attack are also easing. Jadon Sancho and Maximilian Phillipp are soon to make their return to the squad. "We have a couple of training sessions remaining and will determine on Friday whether it makes sense to include them, or whether we should wait a few more days", announced Peter Stöger.
Boris Rupert

BVB total!-Video: The complete press conference with Peter Stöger