DORTMUND — Jeremy Toljan talked with The Yellow Wall about Dortmund’s staleness, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and his own situation in the mixed-zone after an abject 2-2 draw against Freiburg.
Mr. Toljan, how do you explain yet another pathetic performance at home?
Pathetic? (laughs) I believe, we did well until the 1-0. Also in the 10 minutes afterwards, we played well. Afterwards, we had a disruption in our game. We obviously, have to analyse that. In the end, we have to be happy with a point.
You were talking about the disruption. Is that a mental issue?
If you concede the 1-1 out of the blue and then stop to play football entirely, we certainly have to think about why that is. We have to do that throughout the week since we haven’t won this year. That is certainly below our ambition.
The coordination and the man-marking on your side looked off ahead of the 1-1.
I haven’t seen it yet, so I can’t talk about it in detail but of course, something must have been off.
When you scored, you didn’t really aim, did you?
No, I just let loose. I was a bit lucky to hit it like that.
How’s the feeling about such a game after the final whistle? The atmosphere in the stadium was so-so.
I think it’s normal that the fans are not satisfied if we play like that. Us [players] aren’t either. If you score so late, it’s a point gained but overall, it’s two points lost.
Can one say that the negative spell from last fall is still in the back of your minds? After the 1-1, it was visible that matters took a turn for the worse.
At the moment it’s certainly so that things do get a bit tougher when we concede. Again, we have to analyse that and stop making those errors. If we score, we should try to score a quick second. Then it’ll become much tougher to beat us.
As a player, to you feel more insecure when the fans boo you? Roman Bürki was vexed by how quickly fans aired their discontent.
If you’re trailing and the stadium is boing you, it’s not so pleasant but it’s nothing that every one of us doesn’t already know. We want to do it better in the next games and then hopefully [booing] won’t happen anymore.
One has to assume that Freiburg would sit very deep today. What was the tactical approach against that?
We have to move the ball quickly. Freiburg played with a back-five. We have to have more movement up front, which we didn’t do so well today. At the start of the game, I thought we did OK but towards the end of the game, it’s only getting harder with more of Freiburg’s players defending. Finding the gaps isn’t always easy, Freiburg also did well.
There was a lot of talk about Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during the week. Is that an issue you can put aside during a game?
I find the media have blown that subject completely out of proportion. In my view, we are one group and he is a part of that. If he plays, we are happy. Everyone knows what he is capable of. It doesn’t really bother me at all.
A lot of attacks came through the left side. You and Jadon Sancho form good synergies and you scored a goal today. Even if things are not going so well overall, you seem to be on the way up. How do you see your own situation?
Good. I’m getting playing time. I’ve played many consecutive games over 90 minutes now. You always need to have a rhythm to get into your grove. I’ve been here a while now, got to know the boys and the coaching staff better during the winter break. The more often you play, the better it gets.
How difficult was it for you during the last fall?
Obviously, there are a lot of new impressions to take in when you change clubs. New surroundings, new coaching staff, new teammates. I think it’s a common process for things to take a while to come together.