Marco Reus singled out Borussia Dortmund teammate Jadon Sancho for particular praise after the England teenager scored the winner in Saturday's 2-1 Revierderby triumph at Schalke.
Eighteen-year-old Sancho lost his grandmother in the build-up to the game, but capped a sterling individual effort with the decisive goal as BVB extended their unbeaten start to the league season to 14 matches.
And with games against Werder Bremen, Fortuna Düsseldorf and Borussia Mönchengladbach to come before the winter break, Reus has set the Bundesliga leaders the target of continuing their run into the new year...
bundesliga.com: Marco Reus, Jadon Sancho scored the winner against Schalke, having only flown back from London on Friday following the death of this grandmother. What did you make of his performance?
Marco Reus: I've got so much respect for the mentality he showed. And hats off to him for being able to train, focus and laugh again. The way Jadon and Raphael [Guerreiro] combined for the goal was fantastic. I'm especially delighted for Jadon that his effort was rewarded.
bundesliga.com: Dortmund's attack gets a lot of praise, but your defence is also very good, and with youngsters largely making up the back four at that.
Reus: We always knew that we couldn't possibly keep scoring so many goals as we did earlier in the season. The opposition's too good for that, and they've obviously analysed our game accordingly. But the way we've performed defensively in recent weeks has been really good. It's important for us that we have stability on the pitch. Part of that is not giving much away and having everyone work hard for each other. It was important we did that against Schalke. The win is another boost for our self-confidence and gives us strength for our next games. We've got a busy schedule ahead of us.
Reus: It's huge. Axel, Thomas and the other players that have come into the team in recent weeks have a massive input and bring a new energy to the side. That's so important at this stage of the season. They come in with so much energy, they're doing it in training. We've also been lucky not to have many injuries. It's not often we've been in that position. That gives us added strength.
Watch: A closer look at the nuts and bolts of Dortmund's Revierderby win
bundesliga.com: How do you deal with fatigue? You've played the full 90 minutes in almost every game this season...
Reus: I was very happy that we didn't have a midweek game before the derby, and we were able to prepare for it normally. Of course, you start to notice that you're not as strong as at the beginning of the season. It's good and important that we have so many quality players in the squad. The coach knows that, and now it's important to find the right balance. We'll have to see what that means in practice, but it doesn't matter as long as we get results like we did in the derby.
bundesliga.com: What's the objective for the remaining games between now and Christmas?
Reus: First, we all need to recover. We've got a midweek Champions League fixture, before our final three Bundesliga games of the year. We need put absolutely everything into our games. We want to continue our unbeaten run!