Article

Stoger happy with Gotze response after public criticism

18 March 2018 17:02

Peter Stoger feels Mario Gotze has responded well after the Borussia Dortmund coach criticised the Germany international.

Stoger singled out Gotze after Dortmund's surprise Europa League exit at the hands of RB Salzburg this week, saying: "We were not at all happy with Mario."

Dortmund's coach indicated Gotze failed to carry out his instructions and the playmaker has been omitted from Germany's squad for games against Spain and Brazil by Joachim Low.

Stoger's men beat Hannover 1-0 in the Bundesliga on Sunday thanks to Michy Batshuayi's fine first-half finish, with the coach praising Gotze's display at Signal Iduna Park.

"We were very happy with Gotze," Stoger told a news conference. "Today we were very satisfied with what we saw, and like many others today, he played well.

"I read that there was speculation that he could sit in the stands, this business [the media] is doing strange things."

Stoger, who was without Marco Reus due to a muscle injury, confirmed defender Omer Toprak was withdrawn at half-time with a recurrence of a thigh problem.

And the Dortmund coach, unbeaten in 12 Bundesliga games since replacing Peter Bosz at the club, praised his side after Batshuayi hit a winner for the second league game in a row.

"We won the game deservedly," Stoger said. "We had a short break and I was very impressed with the first half, over 90 minutes the performance was decent.

"After the disappointment of the Europa League match it was a good reaction and I was in agreement with many things today."

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