Jurgen Klopp admitted that he has some thinking to do as Borussia Dortmund headed into the winter break having won just one of its last six Bundesliga matches. The BVB has now taken just four points out of a possible 18 since its 6-1 thrashing of Stuttgart on Nov. 1, while Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Hertha Berlin marked its third successive loss at home. Dortmund is now fourth in the Bundesliga table, two points ahead of fifth-place Wolfsburg.
“Especially the last third of the year was unbelievably tough for us,” coach Klopp told reporters. “We can really use the winter break and a rest. We have gotten ourselves in this position and have things that we need to think about during the break. That’s what I will do now, and on Jan. 5 we start from scratch again."
To be sure, Dortmund’s lengthy injury-list, particularly in defense, has hindered its progress, with long-term absentees Marcel Schmelzer, Neven Subotic, Mats Hummels and Lukasz Piszczek certainly playing a factor. Germany midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has been the only notable absentee further up the field, but there is still a sense that the BVB is lacking something in attack.
“Our hopes rest on the fact that, in 2014, several injured players will return to the squad,” sporting director Michael Zorc told reporters after the Hertha defeat. “If top players like Mats Hummels and Ilkay Gundogan return we have more options.”