Bad Ragaz - In light of Borussia Dortmund’s topsy-turvy campaign in 2014/15, there is no shortage of intrigue surrounding the five-time Bundesliga champions' preparations ahead of the new season, especially with Thomas Tuchel installed as head coach following Jürgen Klopp’s resignation.
Following on from their trip to the Far East as part of the Bundesliga World Tour 2015, which took in Japan, Singapore and Malaysia, BVB are currently at a training camp in Bad Ragaz, Switzerland, where Tuchel is fine-tuning his side ahead of their first competitive match of the season, an encounter in the UEFA Europa League qualifying rounds on 30 July.
Double sessions, Reus fit
“We’re not yet where we want to be,” said the former 1. FSV Mainz 05 boss at a press conference. “There’s still a lot of work to do.” As such he has programmed in two training sessions each day as he aims to get his team in shape as quickly as possible. “We’re doing athletics training, running exercises and sessions to improve stamina, and combining that with ball work and defensive organisation, both for individuals and as a team.”
Nevertheless, despite the considerable workload, Tuchel is wary of putting too much strain on his players. Indeed, Marco Reus was revealed to have suffered a minor ligament strain, although the injury was not serious enough to keep him from training again on Monday evening. “Less is probably more,” said Tuchel. “You need to be careful of overdoing things. We all have to be disciplined, including those of us on the coaching staff. We’ll need a bit of freshness in order to do well in our warm-up games.”
Spoilt for choice
Dortmund face FC Luzern on 21 July before going up against the beaten UEFA Champions League finalists Juventus four days later. Having only been at the helm for three weeks, Tuchel admitted that the games will be a useful way of finding out more about his squad: “We’re still learning what the players’ strengths are and which positions they feel comfortable in.”
Nuri Sahin, Kevin Großkreutz and Adrian Ramos have all recovered from injury and will be hoping to play themselves into the tactician's thoughts, as will new signings Roman Bürki and Gonzalo Castro. Sporting director Michael Zorc did not rule out the prospect of another new face joining this summer too, citing another striker as an option following the departure of Ciro Immobile.