Lucien Favre's team have already completed two thirds of the training camp in Marbella, Spain. After the group was given Tuesday afternoon off to spend as they please, Wednesday saw them get back down to some hard work with two extensive training sessions.
First of all, there was good news to report regarding personnel: Thomas Delaney, Jacob Bruun Larsen, Abdou Diallo and Mahmoud Dahoud made a full return to team training in the morning, while Paco Alcácer and Dan-Axel Zagadou completed some parts of the programme at least. Captain Marco Reus was unable to participate once more due to stomach problems, and Alexander Isak was absent as he is currently following an individually-tailored training programme.
Passing and dribbling exercises were on the schedule, as were tackling situations (one-one-one, two against two, and four against four duels).
Borussia Dortmund says thank you to the accompanying fans
"We'll follow you wherever you go", which, as it transpires, is a good 2400 kilometres from Dortmund to Marbella on the Costa del Sol. The BVB supporters do not sing these lines without reason. The players thanked the fans who had also travelled to the camp with a collective team photograph.
On top of that, the Black and Yellows are picking up one award after the next. After Marco Reus had already been named "National Player of the Year 2018", Achraf Hakimi was also recognised with an honour: the 20-year-old is "Africa's Young Player of the Year 2018".
"We want to lay a foundation" – next friendly on Friday against Rotterdam
After the first win of the new year, the 3-2 defeat of Fortuna Düsseldorf in a friendly, the brace-getting Maximilian Philipp voiced his opinion on the energy sapping training sessions while speaking into the the BVB TV microphone: "We are training very intensively and very hard, as we want to begin the second half of the season successfully."
Mario Götze also drew attention towards the first competitive match of the year when talking to the media: "There are still ten days to go until we play in Leipzig. We also know how important the match is there. We are trying to lay a foundation at the moment so that we will be able to play at a high level for five months."
In order to get themselves back into a more competitive state of mind, a match will be played on Friday: BVB will face Feyenoord Rotterdam in Marbella's stadium. The match will be broadcast live, beginning at 16:55 CET on both BVB TV and Sport1. Kick-off is at 17:00 CET.