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Dortmund coach demands response after Leipzig rout

Berlin (AFP) – Borussia Dortmund coach Marco Rose has demanded an improved performance from his team at Stuttgart on Friday to make amends for their drubbing at home to RB Leipzig.

Second-placed Dortmund trail league leaders Bayern Munich by nine points in the Bundesliga with six games remaining, having been hammered 4-1 by Leipzig last weekend.

“We have some catching up to do,” Rose admitted ahead of Friday’s game at strugglers Stuttgart.

Dortmund striker Erling Haaland will seek to end a run of four games without a goal, although he has been carrying an ankle knock and limited to two starts in that time.

England midfielder Jude Bellingham should also be fit again after recovering from deep bruising.

Dortmund have failed to impress in recent weeks, labouring to narrow wins over Arminia Bielelfeld and Mainz before being held to a 1-1 draw at Cologne.

They had few answers last Saturday when Leipzig played them off the park as French forward Christopher Nkunku grabbed a goal and three assists.

Since being knocked out of the Europa League by Rangers in February, Rose admits there has been unrest in his Dortmund team.

“We are fighting with ourselves in our heads,” he said.

“Things keep happening this season that we should avoid.

“We make too many mistakes, which lead to easy goals.”

Stuttgart are battling relegation and are a point above the bottom three.

The hosts are missing striker Sasa Kalajdzic after he tested positive for Covid. The Austrian converted a penalty in last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Bielefeld.

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