Borussia Mönchengladbach forward Marcus Thuram has hailed coach Marco Rose for the club’s barnstorming start to the season that has the Foals at the Bundesliga summit going into Matchday 8.
Thuram arrived at Borussia-Park from French Ligue 1 side Guingamp over the summer and has proven to be an instant hit, registering three goals and two assists in six starts en route to winning the Bundesliga Rookie of the Month award for September.
But, he insists, it all stems from Rose setting the tone. "He talks to the players a lot, shows us videos," the 22-year-old said in an exclusive interview with bundesliga.com.
Watch: Find out exactly why Thuram won the September Rookie of the Month award
"He talks about the opponent. He's very precise about what he expects us to do on the pitch and we all understand what he wants. He gives you confidence. He's a coach you want to fight for."
There is no denying that. This season Gladbach have not shied away from the unglamorous – yet equally important – nitty-gritty aspect of the game, with their tally of 743 challenges won (106 per match on average) and 15 yellow cards both among the top five in the Bundesliga.
The Foals back up that considerable brawn with a large helping of attacking flair, and they are also among the league's top five teams for goals scored (15), shots taken (121) and efforts against the woodwork (three).
That is in no small part down to Thuram, whose fearless displays in the final third have won over fans and pundits alike. "[My main strengths are] having the ball at my feet, trying to go past defenders dribbling, creating chances for myself or my teammates. I have a lot to offer the team in attack."
He certainly does, especially as his budding understanding on and off the field with fellow forwards Alassane Plea and Breel Embolo continues to deepen, with the trio responsible for 10 of Gladbach's 15 goals this term.
"We're all really good friends and we like to laugh a lot in training and everyday life," he said. "We're friends and when you play with your friends easier to get along on the pitch and that’s what we try to do."
Watch: Gladbach under the tactical microscope
It has reaped rich dividends so far, with Gladbach one point ahead of second-placed Wolfsburg, two ahead of Bayern Munich and four ahead of this weekend's opposition, Borussia Dortmund.
And as tough as Saturday's visit to the Signal Iduna Park is likely to be, Thuram says Gladbach are not going to change their approach. "There’s no secret [to Gladbach’s current form]. We work a lot, we talk about what we want to do on the pitch. It's working so we're happy. We do what the coach wants us to do and that's it!"
The match is also likely to serve as a litmus test as to whether Gladbach can mount a serious title tilt this term – even if Thuram is not looking that far ahead just yet. "I don't know [if we can challenge], we'll see at the end of the season. For now we'll keep doing our best and hopefully keep going as we are. My goal for the team is to win as many games as possible."