Following a 41-day winter break, the U23s will return to action in the Regionalliga West on Saturday afternoon (14:00 CET). The first opponents for coach Mike Tullberg's charges will be Wuppertaler SV at Stadion Rote Erde.
"We'll hopefully reap the rewards of our hard work in Portugal in the second half of the season," said sporting director Ingo Preuß in summary of the preparations. A lot of hard work, intensive training and tactical experimentation was done. The rewards will hopefully start on Saturday when, as Preuß put it, mission "climb the table" gets underway. The Black & Yellow reserves occupy eighth spot after 19 rounds, having dropped a number of points in 2019. The chance to challenge for the very top spots has probably now passed, but it should still be possible to climb a bit higher in the table.
The first opportunity to pick up three points comes on Saturday against relegation battlers Wuppertal. Coach Pascal Bieler's charges sit just above the drop zone on 17 points. In addition to sporting issues, the tradition-steeped club have had a number of personnel problems to contend with. For example, sporting director Karsten Hutwelker was relieved of his duties over the winter break. In addition, the previous head coach Alexander Voigt departed WSV shortly after the turn of the year, leaving Pascal Bieler in interim charge in the dugout.
BVB will take courage from their positive home record against Wuppertal, who have not registered a victory in Dortmund since March 2005. The last time the Black & Yellows lost at home to WSV, assistant coach David Solga and goalkeeping coach Matthias Kleinsteiber were on the pitch themselves.