Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel has downplayed the row caused by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after the Gabon international celebrated his goal against Schalke at the weekend by donning a Nike mask.
Aubameyang’s actions prompted an angry response from Dortmund’s kit manufacturer Puma, with club CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke vowing to hold a “difficult” conversation with the prolific striker.
Tuchel does not hold a grudge against Aubameyang, though, and will not get distracted by the matter ahead of Tuesday’s match against Hamburg.
“We see the situation slightly different now than immediately after the game, because we have some more information now,” Tuchel said at a news conference.
“We were informed the day before that he had planned something in case he scored, but we did not know any details. The people in charge have already had their say on the matter. There will be further discussions, but I can afford to solely focus on the football side of things.
“Of course, this makes things slightly more complicated. There is a conflict of interests between what’s best for the players and for the club.
“He would not be the first player who got influenced from the outside. But we cannot doubt his character. You can have a critical chat with him and he understands the club’s view.”
— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) April 3, 2017
Tuchel also had his say on Marco Reus with the Germany international slowly edging closer to a return after ongoing injury problems and stressed BVB will not take any risks with the attacker.
“Reus has returned to the training pitch and is feeling well. He is training with the ball again, but has not resumed squad training yet,” the Dortmund coach said.
“He is so important for us with his confidence, we have a different attitude with him on the pitch. We fully believe in him, also because of how he returned before.
“But we have to be careful, especially if we bear in mind what’s happened before.”