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Lots of positive, some things to improve on


Round up and analysis of the Telekom Cup as Borussia lose two penalty shootouts: 5-3 to Werder Bremen and 6-5 to 1899 Hoffenheim.

The story of the tournament: Although we're still in the early stages of pre-season, the Fohlenelf faced Bundesliga opposition at the Telekom Cup on Saturday 15th July 2017. After 45 minutes against Werder Bremen the match was still scoreless so a penalty shootout decided which side would progress to the final. Werder won 5-3 with Cuisance seeing his penalty saved by Pavlenka in the Bremen net. It was a similar story in the third place play-off as Borussia drew 0-0 with Hoffeneheim and this time it was Florian Mayer who missed the all-important penalty to hand TSG a 6-5 win from the spot. Bayern Munich beat Werder Bremen 2-0 in the final. Borussia head coach Dieter Hecking still took positives from the day, despite his side finishing fourth: "We did a lot of good things against two strong oppoenents, but there were also a few things which we will analyse and must improve on. We kept a clean sheet in both matches and had the better chances, but were unable to find a goal."

Player of the tournament: Hecking doesn't like singling out individual players, therefore, he praaised the performances of the younger members of his squad after the Telekom Cup. "Lots of young players were given their chance to show what they can do. This type of tournament is a very good experience for them. You could see that there are players coming through at Borussia." New singing and youngster Reece Oxford and Mickaël Cuisance gave encouraging performances in defence and midfield respectively. Denis Zakaria also looked good at times and Julio Villalba made his debut against Hoffenheim and scored one of the penalties. Hecking also mentioned other young players who made an impression, namely, Florian Mayer ("very solid") and Kwame Yeboah ("very involved").

The number of the tournament: 41,283 fans came to watch the Telekom Cup at BORUSSIA-PARK and to welcome new signings Vincenzo Grifo, Reece Oxford, Julio Villalba, Mickaël Cuisance and Denis Zakaria. Zakaria appeared to enjoy his first outing at BORUSSIA-PARK, saying, "It's a shame that we narrowly lost both games, but I still enjoyed it. To play here at BORUSSIA-PARK is a dream for me."

A change: Pre-season is always a time to try different things out, especially when some of the more established players are not yet involved. Mickaël Cuisance played in central midfield against Bremen and had an attacking role, but against Hoffenheim he moved slightly deeper and occupied a holding position alongside Christoph Kramer. Tobias Strobl, who played most of last season in defensive midfield, played both matches yesterday at centre-back alongside Reece Oxford, both of whom did well.

Media response:

Bild on Sunday:"Bitter pill for Gladbach: Last place in home stadium. Reason: Hecking used a lot of young players. No need to worry: The young players will gain experience and showed in the penalty shootout that they want to take responsibility."

Express:"After losing the DFB Pokal semi-final on penalties to Eintracht Frankfurt, Borussia lost two more penalty shootouts at the Telekom Cup against Werder Bremen and Hoffenheim. Gladbach had to occupy the unwanted fourth position in their own stadium."

Rheinische Post:"Hecking and sporting director Max Eberl will again have to see whether there's still something missing in the squad. It was noticeable on Saturday that perhaps Borussia are lacking a striker with the necessary calmness in front of goal. They had some really good chances, but couldn't find a goal. The final action was missing in front of goal."

The personnel situation: Julio Villalba was able to make his first appearance in a Gladbach shirt at the Telekom Cup after recovering from concussion. Dieter Hecking still had to do without Nico Elvedi who is out with a thigh injury. Kol and Josip Drmic are also both out.

The outlook: On Monday the Fohlenelf head to Rottach-Egern by the Tegernsee for a training camp. Everyone except Lars Stindl and Matthias Ginter will be involved. "That will raise the quality," said Hecking. "We will certainly continue to work on our fitness at the training camp and also ensure that the players are improving together and integrating the new guys."

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