Borussia Mönchengladbach prodigy Mahmoud Dahoud can and will get even better, according to his coach Andre Schubert.
On average, the 20-year-old midfielder covered more ground per game than every Bundesliga player apart from Hertha Berlin’s Vladimir Darida during the Hinrunde, but Gladbach's head coach wants the Syria-born starlet to tweak his hard-running style in the months ahead.
'A real engine'
"Mo's capable of running 12.5 to 13.5 kilometres per game," Schubert told Germany's leading sport magazine kicker. "He's got a real engine and is a willing runner, but he has to be more efficient and learn to ease off at times and also recognise that he doesn’t always have to run. That'll come with experience. His teammates will guide him as well."
The fact that Dahoud is even considered a Gladbach regular is perhaps a surprise in itself. He took his Bundesliga bow as a substitute last April, and only made his full debut in the Rhine derby defeat to 1. FC Köln on Matchday 5 of the current campaign. So far this term, he has featured in all 17 of the Foals' Bundesliga assignments, registering two goals and four assists, and also turned out six times out of six in the group stages of the UEFA Champions League.
'Tough' Dortmund test
The challenge now facing Dahoud is to build on his impressive individual performances as per his mentor Schubert's instructions. The Foals no longer have European football to look forward to and have also been eliminated from the DFB Cup, but the four-time Germany Under-20 international could not have wished for a better opportunity to lay down a maker for 2016 than against the collective engine of second-place Borussia Dortmund on Matchday 18.
"Before, we were playing twice a week. Now we'll have ample opportunity to recuperate," Schubert admitted, acutely aware of the benefits regular rest and relaxation between games should have on his squad, not to mention marathon man Dahoud. "It's a fact that we want to win every match. We won't always manage that, but we'll do our best. We're getting thrown straight back in at the deep end against Dortmund. It's a tough one."