Berlin, Sep 2: In Dortmund's eastern suburb of Brackel, a dry but cool autumn day might be a coincidence, but the low temperatures come along with the disillusioned atmosphere around the training camp of Borussia Dortmund.
The self-appointed title candidate finds itself in the middle of a crisis after only three match-days in the Bundesliga, with the latest 3-1 defeat in the Blacks and Yellows away game against newly-promoted Union Berlin.
Due to some international qualification games, coach Lucien Favre might feel left alone as most of his squad members joined their national teams.
Favre and team-captain Marco Reus see themselves under fire due to the poor performance despite the club's bold announcements to challenge Bayern Munich and to fight for the German title.
Former German international Juergen Kohler spoke of a performance not suitable for a top team.
"Reus must increase his leadership efforts. Quality in your squad is not enough to win titles. Sometimes you need to make the most out of less."
Borussia's managing director Michael Zorc said he is concerned "when our players admit the opponents wanted to win this game more than we did."
Some media said the team spoke too much about the Champions League duel against Spanish giant Barcelona on September 17.
For weeks, the club's leaders such as CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke spoke about a mentality change and said the team is mentally prepared to talk about winning the German title, following new arrivals such as the German internationals Julian Brandt (Leverkusen), Nico Schulz (Hoffenheim), Mats Hummels (Bayern) and Thorgan Hazard (Moenchengladbach).
However, the defeat in Berlin came near a crash landing, and Borussia already lost ground dropping back to fifth place.
"We must understand that we can't only rely on our quality. It needs determination and passion for winning games," German international Reus commented.
Again, the 2012 German champion suffered from weak defending patterns in dead ball situations.
Favre is accused of false coaching as the Swiss didn't seem to motivate his side when the problems came to light during the game in Berlin.
Yet, Reus said a turnaround would soon be achieved. "We know about our quality as well as we know we have to improve and change our attitude." (UNI-Xinhua)