Terzic: Bellingham omission not linked to Can criticism

By Sports Desk April 06, 2023

Borussia Dortmund head coach Edin Terzic says his decision to leave out Jude Bellingham against RB Leipzig had nothing to do with recent criticism from Emre Can.

Bellingham was named among the substitutes for Wednesday's 2-0 loss at Red Bull Arena as Dortmund's DFB-Pokal hopes were ended at the quarter-final stage.

The England's international's omission came a day after Can publicly said his team-mate has "to learn a lot" after regularly letting his emotion get the better of him on the field.

But Terzic confirmed Bellingham was overlooked for a starting spot against Leipzig for fitness reasons, rather than any sort of falling out behind the scenes.

"Jude signalled after the game against [Bayern] Munich that he wasn't 100 per cent fit," Terzic told Sky Germany.

Asked about Can's criticism of Bellingham, Terzic said: "That has nothing to do with the decision."

Only Nico Schlotterbeck (37) has played more times for Dortmund than Bellingham (36) this season, with all but three of the midfielder's appearances being starts.

The 19-year-old, who has been linked with an array of Europe's top clubs, was introduced with an hour played against Leipzig but could not help Dortmund recover.

Will Orban scored in the 98th minute to add to Timo Werner's 22nd-minute opener in a deserved victory for Leipzig, who had 11 shots on target to BVB's one.

Dortmund have exited the DFB-Pokal and Champions League over the past month, while Saturday's 4-2 loss to Bayern saw them replaced at the top of the Bundesliga.

Terzic had no complaints over the loss to Leipzig and accepts his side's campaign is as good as over if they do not learn from their back-to-back defeats.

"It was a catastrophic game in the first half," he said. "It was basically a s*** evening because we did not advance to the next round of a cup we had a good chance of winning.

"It's now a matter of looking ahead. There's still an important competition in which we want to play a big role.

"But if you look at the performance against Leipzig and the performance in Munich, it will be difficult for us if we continue to play like this."

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