Marco Reus says he can feel the good times returning to Borussia Dortmund with the injection of youth and energy from the likes of Jadon Sancho and Jacob Bruun Larsen balanced by the tactical wisdom of Lucien Favre, as the Bundesliga pace-setters look to lead the pack into the international break.
Speaking after Dortmund turned on the style once again to dismiss Monaco 3-0 in the UEFA Champions League in midweek, the BVB captain spoke about the infectiously positive atmosphere surrounding the league leaders as they aim to defend their place at the summit this weekend.
Question: Marco Reus, after a rather even first half, BVB turned it on again in the second half and in the end celebrated a clear win over Monaco. Was it down to patience this time?
Marco Reus: Yes, absolutely. Monaco did very well in the first half, and at times they moved the ball around well. We had some problems creating chances to score, but we didn't become nervous. We had a good gameplan, wanted to play patiently and already showed that Monaco were slightly vulnerable in defence. In the second half, we played better from the back and created more gaps ahead of us.
WATCH: Focus on the marvellous Marco Reus
Question: And no matter who comes from the bench at the moment – he scores.
Reus: It's really good what the boys are producing. Bruun Larsen came on and made it 1-0 straight away. It's really crazy right now – we hope we can continue in this form. But it's also hard work and right now we have a good feeling on the pitch. We're playing with a lot of confidence and that's what's setting us apart at the moment.
Question: The youngsters are also currently putting their stamp on BVB's game. How much fun is it being part of this Dortmund 'youth promotion' project?
Reus: Actually, there's a certain euphoria about the boys right now. They give us a lot of input, help the team a great deal and still shine individually.
Question: Are you sometimes surprised that young players like Bruun Larsen or Sancho are doing so well?
Reus: Clearly many players have enormous potential, but the nuts and bolts are that we have a plan. The guys know exactly what they have to do defensively, and in attack, we all have liberties. The coach always tells us that. Of course we have certain solutions that we also work on in training, but in games you decide instinctively. If you have street footballers like Jadon and Jacob then it's really fun. We can be happy that we have these players and that things are going so well. But on Saturday against Augsburg it'll be another very different game. We have to mobilise all our energy again before the international break.
Question: Dortmund are undefeated in the Bundesliga and have won both matches in the Champions League. Would you have expected that?
Reus: I know what our coach can do and what kind of philosophy he has, so it doesn't come as a surprise to me. We certainly won't beat all our opponents easily, but the way we've been playing – especially in our past two or three matches – makes me feel very positive and we know we can always score. There's still a lot to do, though. Monaco also had two or three really good chances on the break. If they'd done better with those, it could have been really dangerous for us. We currently have momentum on our side, but we still have to work hard for that.
"You can see that I feel better when I play in the attacking midfield role." - Marco Reus
Question: After your goal, you're now, together with Robert Lewandowski, Dortmund's all-time top scorer in the Champions League. Does that mean something to you?
Reus: I didn't know that until after the game. Of course it's a nice thing for me, but the victory was important. 17 goals is a nice number, but it goes on and on.
Question: It could even have been 18. Why did you let Paco Alcacer take the penalty? Did not you want to take it yourself?
Reus: Yes, of course! But with Paco I had the feeling that he was in a good mood and instinctively let him take the ball. Unfortunately, he didn't score it. But then he still finished his chance for the 2-0. And that finish was much more difficult than the penalty. There's no doubting his class, but he still needs time. Once he reaches the right fitness level, we can expect more.
Watch: Reus, Sancho, Bruun Larsen and Alcacer brought Dortmund back against Leverkusen!
Question: The coach tries to rotate every now and again, but you've almost always played the full 90 minutes each week. How are you physically?
Reus: Very good! (laughs) Now I can play in the last game before the break on Saturday, and then it's off to the national team.
Question: In Dortmund, you play a key role behind the striker, in the national team you had to play up front. Would you like to change your role for Germany?
Reus: Maybe. That's a completely different team. It's definitely something we can talk about. You can see that I feel better when I play in the attacking midfield role. I'm just not a centre-forward. At BVB it's also clear that Alcacer and Maximilian Philipp are our two centre-forwards and I like to be behind them.