Thomas Tuchel tells Christian Pulisic to keep head down, focus on football
Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel has told Christian Pulisic to focus on his football rather than pay attention to the hype around him.
Pulisic, 18, has been receiving widespread plaudits in his first full season as a professional and was rewarded for his displays in January with a new contract that keeps him tied to Dortmund until 2020.
Tuchel attempted earlier this week to manage expectations surrounding the U.S. international, and he reiterated in his news conference on Thursday that the youngster needs to keep his head down.
"My advice for him is that he should read as little as possible, and maybe switch off the 'Google Alerts' for his name," Tuchel said. "But I would also advise him to do so if things were not running that well."
Despite Tuchel's words of caution, the Dortmund boss praised Pulisic for the impact he has made since coming into the team.
Pulisic scored the opener in the 3-0 DFB Pokal win over third-tier side Lotte on Tuesday, taking his tally to five goals and nine assists in 30 appearances in the current campaign.
"We are very satisfied with Christian's progress," Tuchel said. "He's a full member of our team, despite still being eligible to play for the under-19s. He's very confident, stress-resistant and can bring his physical strength to the pitch. You can't predict that.
"Christian is on a great path. He's been an important factor for us in the past few weeks, first as an impact substitute and after the injuries he has become an important starter for us -- already in Champions League and the cup. He took the chances he was offered."
Pulisic will hope to be involved when Dortmund next take on Ingolstadt in the Bundesliga on Friday.
Tuchel's side are missing Mario Gotze and Marco Reus through injury, while Ousmane Dembele is suspended, though Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Julian Weigl face late fitness tests.
"That's a lot of goals and assists [we'll be without]," Tuchel said. "We'll do all we can for [Aubameyang and Weigl] to be fit. The players will also work hard to make it.
"We will test Aubameyang today at 5 p.m. -- he's still questionable. Just like Julian Weigl. Shinji Kagawa took a knock to his knee. He's also questionable. It would be bitter since he's in great form."
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