Reus says contract extension shows 'something can develop' at Dortmund
DORTMUND, Germany -- Marco Reus wanted to show teammates that "something can develop" at Borussia Dortmund after signing a contract extension, he told reporters after BVB's dramatic 3-2 home win against Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday.
Reus, 28, bucked the trend when he put pen to paper on Friday to extend his deal with Dortmund until 2023. His previous contract was set to expire at the end of the following season.
"There are several factors for my contract extension," he explained. "First of all, it's important to have clarity about my future ahead of the deciding stretch of the season and ahead of a World Cup. Second of all, it's about showing the club and my teammates that something can develop here.
"I hope it's a signal. I hope that we finish the season on a Champions League spot and then continuously build something sustainable. If that happens, I think we will have bright future."
Asked whether Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke and sporting director Michael Zorc managed to demonstrate how the club's future would shape in order for Reus to make a long-term commitment, the midfielder responded:
"You can certainly assume that. Of course we're in constant exchange. This club always has the chance to win silverware but we will see how things continue. Our biggest goal is to qualify for the Champions League and to make the next round of the Europa League next Thursday, which will be hard enough.
"Summer is the time when you think about how to shape the future of the club."
Dortmund made a vital step towards securing a top-four finish in the Bundesliga, beating direct competitors Eintracht Frankfurt 3-2 in with a late winner at the Westfalenstadion.
Chelsea loanee Michy Batshuayi scored deep into injury time to return his team to third place in the league table.
The visitors had seemed set for a share of the points after Danny Blum's injury-time equaliser, but there was still time for Batshuayi -- who was dropped from the starting lineup -- to score his second of the game.
While being happy with the three points, Reus only partially agreed that the performance was an improvement over Thursday's 2-1 home defeat to Salzburg in the Europa League.
"The first half [was an improvement over Thursday's match], yes. Then it was s---," Reus said. "It's hard to explain why we are showing such different performances before and after the break in the past weeks. Today, our first half was good. Especially, from a tactical point of view, we were very much in the game. We won a lot of tackles against an uncomfortable opponent like Frankfurt.
"In the second half, however, we didn't manage to hold the pressure away from our own goal. They made a few tactical adjustments and we didn't deal with that all too well as they got the upper hand. The second half started with what felt like 10 corner kicks [for Frankfurt]. We simply have to become more stable.
"Every one of us needs to have more willingness to receive the ball so we have passing outlets. We play at home and we need to be more keen to add a second and a third goal. Otherwise, we will always have to fear that something happens at the last second."
The match, meanwhile, saw an improved Christian Pulisic, whose cross into the box forced a Marco Russ own goal after 11 minutes. The 19-year-old proceeded to set up Batshuayi in the 77th minute to restore a temporary 2-1 lead.
It was the first start for the U.S. international after featuring as a substitute in Dortmund's previous three games. After the game, he told reporters that playing fewer minutes in recent weeks had helped him to regain some freshness.
"It's given me some time to work hard in training and continue to get better and I'm happy that I could help the team today," Pulisic said. "The coach decided to give me a few games rest and I was OK with that decision.
"I feel very good right now, very confident. Like I said, I'm just happy that I can go out and help the team in any way I can. I'm happy I made a good impression today."
Asked to describe the final four minutes of the game from his own perspective, Pulisic quipped: "I don't know, I was tired.
"[Frankfurt] scored, I guess. Obviously, the stadium kind of went quiet. But I still feel that we had some energy left in us and I'm happy that we got that winner at the end. We needed a big win today, especially for our fans."
Dortmund travel to Austria on Thursday, looking to turn around a 2-1 deficit against Salzburg before hosting Hannover in the Bundesliga.