Ousmane Dembele, the Borussia Dortmund attacker, has said that he would like more protection from referees but promised that he will not let opponents get to him.
Since Dembele joined Dortmund from Rennes last summer opposition defences have found it hard to handle him.
Last December the 19 year old French international was carried off the pitch on a stretcher in the second half of a 2 – 2 draw with Hoffenheim in which he set up both goals for his side.
The Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel has said that challenges have left Dembele with “heavy bruising”.
As a result of this Dembele came out and said, “Even if I would like referees to protect me more, I won’t let myself be intimidated. To see the opponent act in that way is proof that I represent a danger to him.”
So far, in his first Bundesliga campaign, Dembele has four goals and eight assists to his name. At present he is healthy but has said that he wants to improve his consistency as he is aware that he “wasn’t as good in some matches.”
Dembele says that he has talked about this with the coach and think it is a normal process to go through but said that he has to improve defensively. Nonetheless he said that “the most important thing is playing regularly and, on that level, I’m very happy.”
Meanwhile the team has accepted the imposition by the German FA of a partial stadium closure as a result of the crowd trouble that occurred during their recent home game against RB Leipzig.
Ten Leipzig supporters and four police officers were injured when a group of Dortmund fans attacked them before the match earlier this month. As a result the south stand in the stadium will remain empty for Saturday’s Bundesliga game against Wolfsburg.