The chaos caused by the weather over the past few weeks has taken its toll on the Regionalliga West schedule. Borussia Dortmund's U23s played only one match in February. Two games fell victim to the weather, meaning the fixtures list is even more congested in March.
The postponed games against RW Essen and Bonner SC will have to be played. Meanwhile, the regular schedule continues. A lot of work, but the team are looking forward to it. On behalf of the team, Taylan Duman answered a few questions during the weekend off.
The rhythm of the games was turned upside down in February. How are the team preparing for the intense weeks in March?
"It's not great, of course, to prepare for a game and then have it cancelled two days beforehand. Unfortunately, it's out of our hands. What is in our hands, however, are the six games in March. At the moment, there is not so much emphasis on recovery in training, because we get two days off at the weekend, and we do not have to push ourselves hard then. But on Wednesdays and Thursdays, the intensity is definitely increased. You can also do a little more for yourself, because you can use that time to catch up on something."
In addition to the top of the table clash against RW Essen, there are five more games on the fixtures list. What do you think about your next few opponents?
"We saw in the first half of the season that every point matters. So getting the points against teams who are lower in the league is extremely important. Essen have already dropped points against those teams. Of course, we want to win the game against Essen, also to send a signal that we absolutely want to go up. We want to show that we are the better team. Of course, that game alone will not decide anything. The other games are just as important. We want to get three points in those games as often as possible too."
Essen still have four games to play before the game with BVB. You only have two. Is that an advantage for you?
"You could say that weeks with midweek games are always energy-sapping, but I think you really have to have your head in the game and have the right mentality on the day. So it doesn't matter much whether you have one or two extra games in your legs."
You used your days off recently to make some decisions about your future career after the summer. You will be joining 1.FC Nuremberg.
"I came to Dortmund to be able to take the next step here at some point. It worked out and it is confirmation that BVB are doing a great job. The club have given me a lot of confidence that I can continue to develop. That is not just a matter of course. I really appreciate that I was allowed to train with the first team. I was allowed to fly to the training camp, which was great for me. I am very grateful for my time here, but it is not yet over. We still have a lot to do before the summer."
Interview: Timo Lammert
U23s fixtures in March
06.03.2021 (14:00 CET): FC Wegberg-Beeck (A)
13.03.2021 (14:00 CET): RW Ahlen (A)
17.03.2021 (19:30 CET): RW Essen (A)
20.03.2021 (14:00 CET): SV Lippstadt 08 (H)
24.03.2021 (19:30 CET): Bonner SC (A)
27.03.2021 (14:00 CET): Fortuna Düsseldorf U23 (A)