Borussia Dortmund extended their post winter break winning streak to three games with their home win against VFL Bochum this past weekend, with Germany striker Niclas Füllkrug supplying all three strikes for Die Schwarzgelben. The former Werder Bremen player buried two penalties and scored once from open play to ensure Dortmund walked away with all three points yet again.
In the aftermath of the win, Füllkrug had an interview with DAZN, and explained that the team had taken their time to prepare for this game. According to Füllkrug, the team's preaparations focused very much on how Bochum plays "one-to-one" on the pitch, which came from reviewing how the game in the first half of the season went:
"We were well prepared for Bochum. They play one-on-one all over the pitch. The big difference to the first half of the season is that you can prepare for an opponent all week and hone your style of play."- Niclas Füllkrug
Füllkrug also highlighted the importance of this win from a confidence standpoint, noting that the team had often struggled in the first half of the season. A lack of consistency was one of the club's main pitfalls:
" We often lacked consistency in the first half of the season. It's good for us to pick up these three points. The goal we conceded didn't put us off our stride, but we also wanted to play with a clean sheet. We scored three goals and are happy that these results have given us back our confidence."- Niclas Füllkrug
Picking up three points against Bochum was not only good for confidence as Füllkrug aptly says, but also important for the fans to see that the team is learning from their mistakes. The performance, while still not perfect, showed that they had analyzed their approach to previous games against Bochum, (which in truth has become a bogey team for Dortmund), and worked to rectify the errors that have led to dropped points in the past. Bochum approached this game with the dogged nature many would have expected, and despite losing they did their best to carve out chances and put Dortmund under pressure, which they did successfully.
The difference in this game was clearly Dortmund's approach to taking the "little Revierderby" more seriously than they have in the past. Dortmund go again next weekend against Heidenheim, another club that gave them trouble in the first half of the season. There is reason for optimism now that Dortmund are continuing to work on rectifying the mistakes they made in the first half of the season, and keep pushing forward to attain as high a finish in the table a possible.