''It had to come at some point,'' said Lucien Favre in reference to the first defeat of the current Bundesliga season. The head coach accused his team of lacking patience, but exonerated them of their self-proclaimed lack of desire. It had nothing to do with a lack of application!

''We have to show a lot more patience,'' said Favre the day after his team's match away to Fortuna Düsseldorf: ''You can't go into a game thinking you're going to get 10 clear-cut goal-scoring opportunities. You have to play with a lot of width, but we tried to play it through the middle too often.'' 

Favre was aware that his players were extremely critical with themselves after the first defeat of the season, but he unmistakably refuted a certain narrative which emerged in their post-match interviews. ''They did a lot of running. An awful lot in fact.'' The mistakes can be attributed to something else: ''We didn't get it right with our tactics and style of play. We were up against a really compact side. You can't be too hasty in that kind of situation.''

Düsseldorf is in the past now, and the team must look ahead to Friday's top-of-the-table clash between Favre's first-placed Dortmund side and his former club, second-placed Borussia Mönchengladbach. ''They're having a really good season,'' said Favre. The coach also referred to their 3-0 win in Munich (''That says it all'') and played up the strengths of an opponent who have only lost one of their last seven matches, winning five and drawing one. ''They're very well-organised, play extremely compact when they're defending, and once they win the ball back they attack at lightning speed. They're a really dangerous side.''
Boris Rupert