Mönchengladbach - Borussia Mönchengladbach head coach Lucien Favre hopes to see a marked improvement from his ailing troops against SV Werder Bremen on Sunday evening (17:30 CEST/ 15:30 GMT).
'We have to stay positive'
While it’s business as usual for the Bundesliga’s three other UEFA Champions League representatives at the start of 2015/16, the Foals find themselves bottom of the pre-Matchday 3 standings following disappointing defeats to Borussia Dortmund and 1. FSV Mainz 05.
“The pressure’s on, that’s normal when you lose your opening two games,” Favre admitted at Friday’s customary pre-match press conference. “We have to start picking up points. We left too many gaps [in our defence] against Dortmund and Mainz.”
As well as being bottom, Borussia have shipped a joint-league-high six goals whilst scoring just one of their own, and the man in the Gladbach dugout knows full well that performances like that simply won’t do for a side that has just been drawn alongside Juventus FC, Manchester City and Sevilla FC in the group stages of the Champions League.
“It’s the group of death,” Favre explained. “If you finish in the top four, you expect to play quality teams like that, but right now the focus is on Bremen […] They’re dangerous, but we’ll go there and do our best and hopefully get our first points on the board […] We have to remain positive at all times”
Stranzl nearing comeback
To help Gladbach’s cause, midfield duo Andre Hahn and Havard Nordtveit are available for selection again after injury and suspension respectively, but Alvaro Dominguez (back) and Fabian Johnson (calf) remain sidelined.
Despite returning to team training a fortnight ago, captain Martin Stranzl won’t be risked following five months out with a thigh problem. “I hope he’ll be involved in two weeks against Hamburger SV,” Favre said.