Borussia Dortmund's U23s will play their last home game of the current Drittliga season on Saturday (kick-off: 14:00 CET). SpVgg. Bayreuth will be BVB's guests at the Rote Erde.
A great sense of relief swept over the Black and Yellows on Monday evening: by taking a point in the 3-3 draw in Aue, the U23s have secured their spot in the 3. Liga next season. "That has taken off any pressure that we still had on our shoulders," reveals coach Jan Zimmermann, "the mood has been very calm and relaxed ever since." The several-hour journey back from the Ore Mountains to Dortmund seemed much less strenuous on the way back thanks to the success on the pitch: "The boys enjoyed the ride..."
However, the coach is not concerned about a drop in effort with a view to the game ahead: "The boys enjoy playing football far too much for that. I don't think I have to motivate or give anyone extra encouragement." They could also take the momentum from Aue with them: "In one or two phases, we missed chances to seal the game and that brought Aue back into it. Overall, it was a really good away game against strong opposition."
A large attendance is to be expected in the Rote Erde to round off the 2022/23 season, as the BVB first team will not be in action again until Sunday evening. Zimmermann expects great interest from the fans and thinks that should provide some extra motivation for his team: "An atmosphere like that does something to the boys."
In the short space of time to prepare for the game, the coach has been thinking a lot about the team for the game: "We now have the opportunity to give some match practice to one or two players who have been injured recently or not on the pitch too often." But he admits that he is also treading a "fine line", because "I find it hard to leave out the lads who have performed so well in the past few weeks."
Zimmermann said he "didn't know what to expect" from BVB's next opponents, because now that the team from Franconia have been officially relegated, they do not know exactly which players from the opposing team will play. For example, Bayreuth have already started making more use of players who are to become the new mainstays of the team in the coming Regionalliga season.
Bayreuth currently lie bottom of the table with 31 points. However, the U23s should not take their opponents lightly: the Black and Yellows lost the reverse fixture in mid-January 3-1. Even then, Bayreuth were rock-bottom. After the last appearance in the Rote Erde before the summer break, however, we are hoping for plenty of happy faces from the Dortmund faithful on Saturday afternoon.