Borussia Dortmund’s under-fire boss Peter Bosz will resist the urge to rush Germany winger Marco Reus back after injury as they chase a morale-boosting win at Real Madrid on Wednesday.
Dortmund travel to the Santiago Bernabeu for a dead rubber Champions League tie with holders Real already qualified for the last 16 while the Germans can not advance.
The best Dortmund can hope for is to hold onto third place in the group to qualify for the Europa League’s knock-out rounds — and could become the first club to ever do so with just two points.
With only one win in their last ten games in all competitions, the pressure continues to mount on head coach Bosz.
His list of walking wounded is also growing with Mario Goetze, Maximilian Philipp and Gonzalo Castro out for the foreseeable future.
Nevertheless, Bosz is resisting the temptation to play Reus, who must wait a little longer for his comeback from a knee injury in May.
“It will not be Marco Reus,” replied Bosz when asked who will provide Dortmund’s goals.
“But we need a win — even at Real Madrid,” added the Dutchman, whose demeanour suggests he is feeling the strain.
Club bosses have said they trust Bosz to turn things around and the goal he has been set is clear — qualify for the Europa League.
“We want to keep playing in Europe, so a draw would be a cool number for us,” said CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke before flying to Madrid.
“There are mixed feelings, normally a game like this would be an absolute highlight.
“At the moment, both teams have their problems, we are sixth and Real are fourth,” Watzke added with a glance at the respective Bundesliga and La Liga tables.
Dortmund are still waiting for a win at the Bernabeu after two draws and four defeats on previous visits.
However, Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is expected to rest some of his stars with Real already through.