“We’ve earned this game. Nobody presented us this evening on a plate; we’ve worked hard for it,” said BVB boss Edin Terzic ahead of the UEFA Champions League quarter final first leg against Manchester City on Tuesday evening (kick-off at 21:00 CET).
“We want to take it up a notch from our last matches in the Champions League, and in particular from our last games in the Bundesliga, in order to seize the opportunity and potentially qualify for the next round,” Terzic added. “But we know that we have to be on full alert and produce the best performance we can in both clashes.”
The Black & Yellows’ ambitions in the Bundesliga have recently been dealt a double-setback in the form of a draw away to 1. FC Cologne and a home defeat at the hands of Eintracht Frankfurt. Terzic said: “We’re disappointed with our performance on Saturday. The criticism that we’re currently coming in for is totally justified. But we won’t sit back and take it; we have the quality. Now we’re responsible for showing that ourselves.” Emre Can is also looking ahead: “We know that we can and hopefully will do 100% better as a team. Tomorrow will be a good day to show a reaction.”
But in Manchester City, BVB are facing a tough task. Terzic labelled the English oufit as “the best team in the world”. Their record of 26 wins from their last 27 matches is evidence of the strong form in which the Premier League leaders are in, and they now boast a 14-point lead having played a game more than their closest challengers. City have unbelievable qualities both individually and as a team. “Considering what they do as a team in terms of pressing, in terms of set-pieces, how flexible they are with their formations and with their build-up play, they’re the best in the world. But it’s an incredibly exciting challenge.”
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola’s sides are known for having lots of possession. “We know that they often use possession to tire out their opponents and create gaps for themselves,” said Terzic, adding: “We’ll need to be on high alert to ensure we keep these gaps closed, but also so that we find the right moment to win the ball back.” His team must not play sideways and dribble too much, “otherwise we’ll quickly lose the ball and it starts all over again. We have to be very effective and precise with our passing, stay present and help each other to show our qualities on the pitch.” Because: “Once we get going, it’s also not easy for the opponent to stop us. Consequently, we’ll need to show resilience at the right moment, but also the courage and the fight to hold our own and be successful ourselves.”
Terzic has no additional personnel problems to contend with from the Frankfurt match. Youssoufa Moukoko, who returned from international duty with the U21s with an injured foot ligament, will not play again this season. In the meanwhile, Jadon Sancho has recommenced running training.