Borussia Dortmund coach Marco Rose with Marco Reus in pre-season training. - © Maik Hölter/TEAM2
Borussia Dortmund coach Marco Rose with Marco Reus in pre-season training. - © Maik Hölter/TEAM2

Marco Reus: “Marco Rose wants us to play a high defensive line”


Borussia Dortmund captain Marco Reus has given an indication of how his side will play this season under new coach Marco Rose as BVB bid to challenge Bayern Munich for the Bundesliga title.

Rose took over the reins from Edin Terzic at the Signal Iduna Park this summer, having impressed in Germany and Europe while in charge of Borussia Mönchengladbach.

He generally employed a 4-2-3-1 formation there, as Dortmund did for much of last season, so while the shape of the side is likely to remain the same, their style of play looks set to change a little.

Watch: Rose's Gladbach side under the tactical microscope

“He’s trying to show us that he wants us to press high and energetically, as well as playing with a high defensive line so that we can get to the opposition goal quicker,” Reus said at a press conference at the club’s training camp in Bad Ragaz, Switzerland.

“You have to be good on your feet and always try to play the ball quickly behind the opposition’s back line in order to score. These are the things that will help us improve. He [Rose] is very meticulous, and little details are very important to him. He’s also a great guy.”

Reus made 32 Bundesliga appearances last season, registering eight goals and eight assists, while he set up two of Dortmund’s four strikes in the DFB Cup final triumph over RB Leipzig. Nevertheless, in the league BVB still finished 14 points behind Bayern – and the 32-year-old is well aware of what needs to be done to close that gap.

Watch: How Reus makes mischief for Dortmund

“Consistency. That’s been a buzzword for us over the last few years. We had periods when we were really good and periods in which we were unstable. We have to be better this season and pick up points even when we play badly. That’s what sets apart the teams that ultimately win titles because they’re a step ahead in terms of how they approach their games.

“We need to play more consistently at the kind of level we were at towards the end of last season. That’s the bar we’re set for ourselves. We dominated opponents, stayed patient and scored our goals.”

As promising as all that sounds for Dortmund ahead of the new campaign, Reus is aware that the process will take time to bear fruit – as shown by recent friendly defeats to Athletic Bilbao and Bochum. “We still don’t have all of the players with us and a few important guys are still to join up,” he said, referring to Jude Bellingham, Thomas Delaney and Thorgan Hazard, among others, following their exertions at the European Championship.

Reus is going into his 10th season at boyhood club Dortmund. - Lukas Schulze/Getty Images

“Not everything will click overnight and it’ll take time. But we’re on the right track because the training sessions are very good. We execute what the coach wants us to do. Then it’ll be up to us to show that in our matches.”

Dortmund’s first competitive fixture of 2021/22 is away to Wehen Wiesbaden in the first round of the DFB Cup on 7 August, before they host Eintracht Frankfurt on 14 August on Matchday 1 of the new Bundesliga campaign. BVB will also take on Bayern in the Supercup on 17 August.