The Germans are returning to a dimension they haven’t been at since the Jurgen Klopp years, but their new boss isn’t getting carried away.
Borussia Dortmund coach Lucien Favre has compared the development of a successful football team to the baking of a cake as the high-flying Bundesliga outfit look forward to their round of 16 clash with Tottenham in the Champions League.
A poor start to the season from Bayern Munich combined with a tremendous one from Dortmund has seen BVB shoot to the top of the German top flight, a position that few would have envisioned the new supervisor would have accomplished so early in his tenure at Westfalenstadion.
There is still some way to go before the Bundesliga leaders travel to London to face Spurs in February, and retaining the top spot would go a long way to giving the squad the confidence to progress further in the competition.
For Favre’s part, he admits he only takes things one match at a time as one defeat could easily see the tides turn for his squad.
“I have to stay calm and analyse the reasons we make mistakes when we lose,” the Swiss told Bild.
“Defeat is part of the process for a young team though, it helps their development. I stick with my philosophy, I only think about one game at a time.
“Even if only two players are not in top form or injured, things can very quickly go in the wrong direction – it’s like a cake.
“You might be finished kneading the dough and suddenly sugar or cinnamon is missing. The mix always makes the difference – miss one detail and the cake fails.”
Favre has enjoyed a management career that ranges back to 1991, but only really started to garner attention after spells with Hertha Berlin and Gladbach before moving to France to coach Nice in 2016.
Having now returned to Germany, the 61-year-old was quizzed on whether Dortmund is his biggest test to date, and how he adapts with the pressures of managing a Champions League team.
“Bayern Munich and BVB are the benchmark for everything in Germany,” he added. “I had great times at big clubs in Berlin and Gladbach, but the challenge in Dortmund is different.
“It’s not more pressure, that’s the same for me everywhere. Dortmund play in the Champions League round of 16 against Tottenham, Bayern play against Liverpool – who has the hardest match? Both!
“Tottenham are third in England, that says it all. They have a very aggressive and athletic team. Comparisons are interesting for the fans but as a coach I know both will be very difficult games.”
Dortmund return to Bundesliga action next weekend with a potentially tricky trip to RB Leipzig.