Monday 25 September 2017

'My players have shown incredible character' - Thomas Tuchel praises Dortmund players after harrowing week

Head coach Thomas Tuchel of Dortmund applauds to the fans after the Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and Eintracht Frankfurt at Signal Iduna Park on April 15, 2017 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Head coach Thomas Tuchel of Dortmund applauds to the fans after the Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and Eintracht Frankfurt at Signal Iduna Park on April 15, 2017 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel said his players deserve the utmost praise after seeing them end a harrowing week with victory over Eintracht Frankfurt.

Dortmund hit the headlines on Tuesday when they became the victims of a bomb attack ahead of their Champions League match home match with Monaco.

Three explosions went off near their team bus as they made their way to Signal Iduna Park, with defender Marc Bartra ending up needing surgery after suffering a fractured wrist.

Less than 24 hours after that incident Dortmund had to play their re-arranged match against Monaco, and ended up suffering a 3-2 defeat that severely dented their hopes of reaching the last four.

Having also seen their Bundesliga title chances all but ended by last weekend's 4-1 thrashing at Bayern Munich, Dortmund could have done with some positive news from their clash with Frankfurt on Saturday.

And it duly arrived with fine goals from Marco Reus, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang earning them a 3-1 win.

Tuchel said on his club's website: "My players have shown incredible character.

"They already showed that on Wednesday and did so again today. They deserve the greatest praise possible."

The Dortmund players held up Bartra's number five shirt to the fans after the match, and Tuchel said: "The gesture with the shirt in front of the stands was fantastic on behalf of the team.

"Marc is simply part of the team. You can see how the team works, the fantastic characters that we have.

"It was a lovely gesture together with our fans."

Defender Papastathopoulos, who put Dortmund back in front following Marco Fabian's superb equaliser with a similarly impressive long-range strike, added: "I really think it's the nicest goal of my career.

"I dedicate it to Marc and his family.

"The two hours of the match and preparation for today has been a help (after Tuesday), to disconnect a little and forget about the rest for a bit.

"It has been very difficult, not only today. Neither will it be easy for the coming games. The events of this week are going to be extremely difficult to forget."

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