Nuri Sahin says the players, and the players only, are to blame for Borussia Dortmund's 2-1 loss to Werder Bremen.

The result leaves the Black-Yellows languishing down in seventh place, 13 points adrift of leaders Bayern Munich, and without a win in eight Bundesliga matches...

Question: Nuri Sahin, BVB captain Marcel Schmelzer had some strong words for the team following the defeat. Do you agree with what he had to say?

Nuri Sahin: Yes, completely. We collapsed against Bremen. For weeks we’ve been talking about what we want to change, how much we want to change, that we need points - and then we put in a performance like that - in the first half especially. I’m lost for words.

Question: Can you explain the lethargic first-half performance? Didn’t the team want it? Didn't they have it in them?

Sahin: I wouldn’t say we didn’t want it. No player goes out not wanting to win, not in the Bundesliga. You don’t need to be an expert to see that there’s a lot of uncertainty in the side, but I don’t want to keep repeating myself over and over again.

Dortmund have shipped 21 goals in their last eight Bundesliga outings. © imago / Nordphoto

Question: Man-marking appears to be a problem, the movement is lacking - is that a question of uncertainty.

Sahin: I think so, yes. We’ve lost the momentum we had at the beginning of the season. When you’re on a roll, everything works - now nothing is going for us. It’s psychological. That’s not an easy thing to admit. We had momentum on our side after the equaliser, but then conceded a catastrophic goal. It was poor - we just collapsed.

Question: Were you surprised that neither you nor Julian Weigl started the game?

Sahin: The coach always talks to us, and explained to both of us why he set up as he did. We had a very attack-minded variation in [Mahmoud] Dahoud and [Shinji [Kagawa]. It’s something you accept, and you’re ready when called upon, anyway. Just as I’m happy when I’m starting, I also accept when I'm not playing.

Shinji Kagawa (r.) was preferred in midfield to Sahin on Matchday 15. © gettyimages / Stuart Franklin/Bongarts

Question: How do you go about ridding the team of the uncertainty?

Sahin: I’m in no doubt that the football we played in the first half was not down to the coach. We didn’t play as we set out to. Had we done so and the plan not worked out, then we would have talked about it. The fact is we didn’t even play a fraction like how we wanted to. The players are at fault. It’s our fault because we didn’t implement the game plan anywhere near as we should have - the plan that we spoke long and hard about in the two days after the Real Madrid game. It’s our responsibility and our fault that we didn’t implement the game plan out on the pitch.

Question: It’s less about blame and more about the uncertainty that has plagued the team’s performances in recent weeks. How should the team move on from that? Do you need to talk and work on things more?

Sahin: We’ve talked about it so much. Believe me when I say, we’ve talked about it 1000 times already. I’m fed up of hearing it. It’s embarrassing to be standing hear talking about how it’s psychological, week after week. When my son hears me say it, he reluctantly asks me what I mean - it’s always the same thing. The fact is, we’re in a rut and , more than anything, it’s psychological. We have to perform, but we’re just not doing that.

Dietmar Nolte reporting from Dortmund

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