Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel praised his team for their “exceptional mentality and will to win” after rallying to beat Augsburg on Sunday.
Dortmund fought from a goal down to beat hosts Augsburg 3-1 at WWK Arena in the Bundesliga, keeping pressure on league leaders Bayern Munich.
Alfred Finnbogason gave Augsburg a 16th-minute lead but Dortmund hit back on the stroke of half-time via Henrikh Mkhitaryan and the visitors never looked back, with substitute Gonzalo Castro and Adrian Ramos completing the comeback within six minutes of each other in the second half.
And Tuchel was understandably delighted but also relieved to secure all three points following a difficult start to the match on the back of Europa League exertions in midweek.
“You could see that we not only had an intensive physical workload behind us, but also a huge psychological strain,” said Tuchel.
“We made many technical mistakes, were unable to bring any kind of pace to bear on the game, nor could we find space and occupy it. It was also difficult to handle our opposition’s Gegenpressing. I am not in any way attacking my players here, we were simply lacking freshness.
“[But] it was very important for us to have equalised before the break. We played with greater freedom after that. Gonzalo was able to get in on goal more often.
“Our passing improved, we were more focused and we became more dangerous. That is how we were able to win a very complicated game. We demonstrated an exceptional mentality and will to win. As such, the team is due a great compliment.”
Tuchel, whose men have played four matches in less than a fortnight, is relishing the international break, adding: “I am personally delighted. The team will now have three days peace from me.
“It was our sixth ‘English week’ [week with mid-week fixture] in succession. It is important to take a moment to breathe. National team players will also have the opportunity to regenerate mentally thanks to a change of scenery.”