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Schalke standing firm on Goretzka


Thomas Tuchel denies talk of rift with Borussia Dortmund players

Paul Mariner evaluates the quality of the Bundesliga apart from the top clubs of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.

Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel has hit out at reports of a fall-out with his players.

Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke confirmed last weekend that there was a "disagreement" between the club's hierarchy and Tuchel in the aftermath of the attack on the team bus before a Champions League game against Monaco last month.

The interview was followed up by reports in several media outlets across Germany which said Tuchel had lost the dressing room and would not see out the final year of his contract at the Westfalenstadion.

One report in German broadsheet Suddeutsche Zeitung cited an unnamed player hitting out at Tuchel for the way he spoke to his squad.

"A lot of untruths and personal aspersions have been circulating this week, all based on anonymous quotes," Tuchel told a news conference ahead of Saturday's game at Augsburg. "It goes beyond what's decent.

"That's bottom drawer of reporting. To quote unnamed players or to pretend to quote players. Who knows if it has been said at all? 

Thomas Tuchel
Thomas Tuchel has endured a week of challenging headlines.

"I don't have any time to look for the mole. It's about maximum trust. I can't be guided by anonymous quotes which might have been said as a coach."

Dortmund have two games left in the Bundesliga, followed by the DFB Pokal final against Eintracht Frankfurt on May 27, and Tuchel said that it's been hard to focus on football amid all the newspaper headlines.

"It would be naive to say this has no influence," Tuchel said. "And I apologised to the team that everything's focused on me now and not on their efforts [in the 2-1 win] against Hoffenheim.

"I am sorry for that, but I can't change it. This makes it difficult for us to return to the tunnel at the end of the season. Every player, every coach wishes for a quiet working atmosphere. We definitely don't have it."

Once Borussia Dortmund's season ends there are expected to be talks over Tuchel's future, though he would not be drawn on whether he would stay or go.

"I am not sure if I am the right person to answer this question," he added. "It would be naive to say after a week like this: Of course, there are no reasons not do it. We need patience and also need to stand back from it."

Tuchel said on Wednesday that he will be "head coach of Dortmund at Augsburg" but offered no guarantees over his long-term future.

Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.


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