Edin Terzic couldn’t really do anything with the question. “I don’t care,” said the Borussia Dortmund coach when an English journalist asked him whether the second leg of the Champions League round of 16 at Chelsea was the most important game in his young career alongside the 2021 DFB Cup final may be. When evaluating the games, he is more concerned with what it cost to achieve them. “You have to earn it,” said the 40-year-old.
On Tuesday (9 p.m./live Amazon Prime), Terzic, who won the DFB Cup with BVB in 2021, can take the next step. After the 1-0 (0-0) in the first leg, a draw at Stamford Bridge could be enough. “We want to make it into the top eight teams in Europe,” said the 40-year-old. However, it will not be easy, Terzic warned.
What is striking, however, is how much respect the English have towards BVB. The series of ten competitive wins in a row in the 2023 calendar year – eight in the Bundesliga, one each in the DFB Cup and in the premier class – almost gives Dortmund the status of favorites. Especially since things are still not going well for the opponent.
Although the Londoners defeated Leeds United 1-0 at the weekend, the performance of coach Graham Potter’s team was again unconvincing. Chelsea are still slacking off and are tenth in the Premier League – 29 points adrift of leaders Arsenal and 11 adrift of a Champions League spot.
Should the proud club be eliminated on Tuesday – it could be the last game for Potter Terzic forms a friendship with. The two football teachers met in 2015 during coaching training in England. Terzic was then assistant coach to Slaven Bilic at West Ham United. “The whole thing went on for almost two years. So we exchanged regularly. At the time he was still a coach in Sweden. (Östersunds FK, d. R.) He’s an impressive personality, a fantastic coach,” said Terzic before the first leg. The second leg, he now warned, will not be a sure-fire success.
“We know what Chelsea is capable of,” said the Dortmund coach. The potential of the opponent is huge. Even the series of ten competitive wins in a row will not necessarily help BVB – if the team does not tackle the task with the same intensity as in the past few weeks.
“We are really warned and know what Chelsea is capable of,” explained Terzic. The opponent’s potential is huge – especially thanks to the winter commitments. “In the first leg, they hardly had any preparation. Shortly after they came, they had to play every three days,” said the BVB coach. At some point, however, Terzic warned, the team will be more homogeneous – possibly as early as Tuesday. “We have to be prepared for that,” explained the 40-year-old: “Above all, we have to support each other in difficult situations.”
The game will be a real tough one for BVB – every player should be aware of that. The recent series of successes will hardly help. “I don’t think form will decide. It’s a knockout game, that’s what it’s broken down into,” explained Terzic, who still hopes to be able to fall back on Gregor Kobel. The regular keeper, who had pulled out with muscular problems before the 2-1 win against RB Leipzig on Friday, was at least back on the pitch for the final training session on Monday.