Marco Rose says he is loving every minute training "such talented players" as Erling Haaland, Gio Reyna, Marco Reus and Jude Bellingham at Borussia Dortmund, as he eyes a successful first year with the Westphalians.
The new Dortmund coach took time out of the final days of pre-season to speak to bundesliga.com in this exclusive interview...
bundesliga.com: "How were your first days in black and yellow?"
Marco Rose: "Good because, I think it is important that you are treated well when you go somewhere and I felt welcome. I received a lot of support. I was also met with a small, yet energy-fuelled team, very eager to begin learning."
bundesliga.com: "What is the best thing about the training camp?"
Rose: "For a coach, the conditions, if they are good and they are very, very good here. Everything around it: the hotel, the food, the pitch. The interviews less so but, we still came!”
bundesliga.com: "How problematic is it when so many players are missing?"
Rose: "It is a challenge. It is important not to fall into the trap of continuously talking about it. Everyone that is informed can see what is happening. We are one and a half weeks from the start of the season and we are still missing eleven players. We have a bit of a topic going about the centre-backs but these are all things that we notice and are privy to. We need to find a way to still be successful. That is what it will be about."
bundesliga.com: "Soon everything will kick off again and then the first highlight will be against Bayern. Are you looking forward to that?"
Rose: "I think just because it will be against the German Champions, Bayern Munich, will be enough. The rivalry Dortmund – Bayern is evident. Obviously, we want to use the opportunity of winning the first title of the season. We want to see how far we have come in certain regards. In terms of that, we are well prepared."
bundesliga.com: "To what extent do you have to adapt your tactical wishes to the squad as a new coach?"
Rose: "Yes, we do have a clear plan of how our football is going to look. You learn things about your team and will probably tweak some things but what is clear from the beginning is that you will meet players with high levels of quality who you will fit into plans in terms of producing good and successful football. That is what we are working on as a group, together with the boys. It is important to question how they see things and what they feel comfortable with and finally, to use all of this as thoroughly as possible."
bundesliga.com: "Do the players have a say in the tactics?"
Rose: "There are players that prefer to stay out of it and are reluctant to talk to the coaches about things like that but there are also some like Marco Reus, experienced players who have a clear opinion. Sometimes, we have to convince some players that this is the way forward but, for now, we are all on the same page, in this regard. That is important in terms of being able to be convincing."
bundesliga.com: "Are you happy working with so many young players?"
Rose: "It is nice to be able to train such talented players. Erling is still very young. Gio, young. A very good football player. Mouki, of course. We have a very large squad but you also need the others: the ones that take the lead and have experience. Marco, Emre [Can]. Axel Witsel. Mats Hummels. Manu [Akanji] who, I recently read already sees himself as an experienced, older leader in the team. Thomas Meunier. [Thomas] Delaney. We have a lot of players in both departments. It is important to complement each other and try to be successful together."
bundesliga.comg: How would you rate Jude Bellingham's first season?
Rose: "Jude I just forgot about, which allows me to mention him now specifically. I love the way he plays football. I think he is an aggressive player who does incredibly much for the team but also plays football with such confidence for his relative young age. I talked to him once or twice on the phone. We wrote to each other during the Euros. He seems like a great, well-educated lad. That is why I am looking forward to seeing him on Monday when he joins us.”
bundesliga.com: Have you had any contact with him after the European Championship final?
Rose: "Actually, after the final, we had no contact. I know there would have been many messages going around from people but he would have liked to come to terms with it by himself first. I am looking forward to him getting back. We will be able to talk about things then."
bundesliga.com: "What is your objective at BVB?"
Rose: "The bosses have an idea but the important thing is as a team, to be able to build on our own expectations and the manner in which we want to achieve them. Working together. For that, we are still missing several boys. We can be certain, however, that the goals at Borussia Dortmund are always made with great ambition."
bundesliga.com: How do you see the Bundesliga in an international context?
Rose: "It has been the same situation for a couple years now. The moment four teams qualify for the Champions League; we all believe we are on the right path for German football. The moment all the teams are knocked out of the Europa League in the group stage, we begin to doubt everything again. I see it differently. I think everyone understands that in other leagues, there are other factors at play, for example in England. The revenues are different. That is why you cannot be surprised by the number of teams they have in finals but the Bundesliga likes to boast about facts like Bayern having won the Champions League two years ago and that they have strong teams and that teams in general put on incredible performances. Union Berlin are an exceptional example in the last two, three years. Mainz in the last six months. Freiburg over the past several years. These are things that people forget
because they are teams that have nowhere near the same amount of resources to compete, including us. Everyone still does their best. Everyone wants to be successful. Everyone wants to continue developing. That is why I still feel comfortable in the Bundesliga and why I still think it is one of the top leagues in Europe in terms of the manner in which we do our work."
bundesliga.com: "How has your reception been at BVB so far?"
Rose: "Yes, that is the nice thing about it. The way I was received here, the way the coaching staff was received here, it was special. You never get the feeling that you are at a club that exaggerates or one with employees disconnected with reality that somehow work together. Instead, they are great people who have given all their support and are cool and relaxed. Who still understand what it means to work for a club like this. That is why it is also so much fun."
bundesliga.com: How much are you looking forward to the Südtribüne and the stadium itself?
Rose: “I have always looked forward to it as the opposing coach. With Salzburg, back then. I also came as a player. With Mainz. With Borussia Moenchengladbach afterwards. It is special to come out and look to your left and to see what we all call the ‘Yellow Wall’. The stadium does not consist solely of the Yellow Wall but of 80,000 things that make it special. Ultimately, after this difficult period that we are currently still in, we are all looking extremely forward to see a full stadium. I am, personally, also really looking forward to experiencing a full stadium in Dortmund again at some point in the future.”