Cologne - While Borussia Dortmund engaged in a taxing game of snakes and ladders for much of 2014/15, the personal struggles of Marco Reus became something of a footnote.
After an injury-plagued campaign comprising 29 appearances in all competitions - not to mention an armchair 2014 FIFA World Cup - the BVB megastar reveals all about the mental and physical challenges of being on the sidelines, as well as discussing life under new head coach Thomas Tuchel and the season opener against former club Borussia Mönchengladbach.
bundesliga.com: Marco Reus, what are your memories of 2014/15?
Marco Reus: Obviously it wasn’t easy last season. I was injured a lot - that was the biggest problem. I was never able to play five, six, seven, eight games in a row and complete the full 90 minutes because then I had another knock or serious injury. That makes it hard to find your rhythm during the season or to be on your game for the big matches.
bundesliga.com: How did you deal with the injuries? Are there any positives to have come out of the experience?
Reus: You learn how to deal with being on fringes of the squad and you have to learn to enjoy watching the lads from the stands. You still have to stay fit and there are things you can do physically - that’s really important. Things changed a bit, but I learnt a lot.
bundesliga.com: Now you're fit, what's it been like working under new head coach Thomas Tuchel during pre-season?
Reus: It's hard work. We work a lot on the recuperation side of things in training and it’s not dependent on how we’ve played - we did that before. Apart from that, it’s not easy when a new coach comes in and you haven’t had a good season and you only have four or five weeks to prepare. During that time you have to try to put a lot into it. It doesn’t always happen because you need time, but I think it’s been going well and the feedback has been good. We’re still a long way off where the coach wants us to be, though.
bundesliga.com: Last season you finished seventh, with your old club Gladbach breaking the top-four trend. How do you feel about facing them on Matchday 1 of the new season?
Reus: I’m looking forward to it. I like it when direct rivals go head to head. I think Gladbach have made enormous strides this past year and deserved to qualify for the Champions League. They’ve lost two big players [Max Kruse and Christoph Kramer] who contributed a lot last season, but they’re a good side and will be well prepared.