With one goal and a Bundesliga-leading six assists in nine top-flight appearances so far this season, former Borussia Mönchengladbach talisman Thorgan Hazard has hit the ground running at Borussia Dortmund.
Hazard boosted his tally with a goal and assist as BVB ended Wolfsburg's unbeaten league start to the campaign with a comprehensive 3-0 win on Matchday 10. The 26-year-old told the assembled press at the Signal Iduna Park after the game that his eye-catching performance was a birthday gift for coach Lucien Favre, who first brought him to the Bundesliga whilst in charge of Gladbach in summer 2014.
Question: It was a convincing 3-0 win for Dortmund in the end...
Thorgan Hazard: "Of course 3-0 is a good result. I think we could even have won 4-0. It might even have been 4-1 because Marwin Hitz made a fantastic save for us late on."
Question: BVB showed a marked improvement following your opening goal. Is that a psychological thing?
Hazard: "It was easier for us to play our game after taking the lead. There was more space for us, more space for the combinations and we created more goal-scoring chances. We were able to apply more pressure, and the second half was definitely better than the first. As I said, we could have scored more. I could have scored two or three myself. I think we can still play better."
Question: Lucien Favre reserved extra praise for you after the game. How are you finding life at Dortmund?
Hazard: "I feel good at Dortmund, playing for this team, under this coach. I know Lucien Favre from my time at Gladbach (laughs). The win and my goal was a good birthday present for him."
Question: After a bit of a dip in form, Dortmund have now won two games in a row. Does that give you a new sense of self-belief?
Hazard: "It definitely does the team good, but we have to keep it up. We've got a tough week ahead with games against Inter Milan and Bayern Munich. The Champions League game on Tuesday is very important for us. We're not thinking about anything else at the moment."
Question: Do Dortmund have a point to prove after losing 2-0 in Milan?
Hazard: "We lost in Milan. Obviously we want to win at home. It's a different situation when we have our own fans and the Yellow Wall behind us. I hope we can play well and win."
Question: What do you need to do to beat Inter?
Hazard: "We need to play well and score (laughs). Perhaps I can have a hand in a goal. After the win against Wolfsburg, we can definitely go into the game with a good feeling."
Dietmar Nolte reporting from Dortmund