Wed, 29 Nov 2023

By Oliver Trust

BERLIN, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) -- As Borussia Dortmund gears up for the crucial UEFA Champions League group clash against Milan this Wednesday, the team faces a peculiar set of challenges.

Although the Black and Yellows amassed 14 points in their last six national league games, a subtle disquiet envelops coach Edin Terzic's squad.

The lofty expectation of perpetually delivering thrilling football clashes with the team's current pragmatic yet effective approach. The metaphorical debate on whether the glass is half-full or half-empty has spurred odd repercussions. An inflated discourse regarding Terzic's future, along with doubts about the team's mental fortitude and caliber, have exacerbated the ambiguous scenario.

Having navigated through testing league skirmishes against Freiburg, Wolfsburg, and Hoffenheim, including two away triumphs, confidence is on the rise, as forward Niclas Fullkrug suggests.

"Results like that are taking you into a flow," remarked the German international, while Swiss goalkeeper Gregor Kobel pragmatically stated, "If we take the points, we can keep on playing in an unspectacular way; I have no problem with that."

Post the departure of midfielder Jude Bellingham, the team remains in a transitional phase. Veterans like former captain Marco Reus and defender Mats Hummels are instrumental in bolstering the side's morale.

Securing a favorable outcome against Italian powerhouse Milan is deemed critical for BVB, as a second defeat could jeopardize their prospects in one of this season's most formidable groups.

While the loss to Paris in their 2023/24 campaign opener may have been anticipated, earning points is crucial for either advancing to the knockout stage as the group's second or landing third to qualify for the Euro League.

Despite assuming the underdog role, the club's executives are vocal about their ambition to persevere in the Champions League.

Currently, the 2012 German Champion appears to be in a tight spot, with composure being pivotal for international success.

Coach Terzic praises the robust bench, asserting the presence of multiple alternatives to inject vitality when circumstances become challenging.

By ramping up internal competition, the Dortmund manager is banking on the players' individual aspirations to reclaim a spot in the starting lineup, albeit with some disappointments seemingly inevitable.

With Milan only managing a lackluster goalless draw against Newcastle in their first game, the door seems ajar for a significant stride by the German side.

Aiming to keep pressure at bay, sporting director Sebastian Kehl describes the bout with the Italians as "an important game on home soil you ideally have to win."

Former German international and TV pundit Stefan Effenberg regards Dortmund as a top-tier team. "You are a top team when you are winning your games and they do," the 55-year-old opined, seemingly aligning with the more optimistic faction.

Coach Terzic expresses satisfaction with the players' exertion, praising their "great amount of determination and passion."

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