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Dortmund boss refuses to use protest as 'cheap excuse' after over 27,000 fans boycott game

Kevin Danso’s equaliser earned Augsburg a draw at Signal Iduna Park.

 Thousands of Dortmund fans refused to attend their recent game with Augsburg.
Thousands of Dortmund fans refused to attend their recent game with Augsburg.

PETER STOGER REFUSED to blame supporter protests for Borussia Dortmund’s 1-1 home draw with Augsburg that ended a three-match winning streak in the Bundesliga.

Marco Reus scored after 16 minutes to put Dortmund on track for a fourth successive Bundesliga win that would have seen Stoger’s men close to 17 points within leaders Bayern Munich.

But in front of a sparsely-populated Signal Iduna Park, with over 27,000 fans boycotting a first Monday night game in 28 years, Kevin Danso struck to secure a point for Augsburg.

While the famous Yellow Wall was unusually quiet, with fans displaying their opposition to television coverage dictating Dortmund’s schedule, Stoger did not think unrest off the field had an impact on a flat performance from his side.

I did not feel that everyone wanted to do everything to make it better at the front and back,” Stoger told a post-match news conference. “It certainly wasn’t the backdrop. That would be a cheap excuse.

“It’s not understandable to me. It would have been much easier with a second goal. I didn’t like it.

“We do not demand anything that the players cannot bring. We wish, however, that we should assume more responsibility.

“There is always one or another explanation, but you do not necessarily have to use it.

“I’m not satisfied with the game. It was my impression that we only wanted to hold the lead.”

Stoger’s frustration was echoed by Mario Gotze, who cited a lack of attacking ambition from Dortmund as one of the reasons for a below-par display.

“The result is just very annoying,” Gotze told Eurosport. “If you look at the gameplay, that should not happen to us.

“Especially here at home, against Augsburg, with the chance to get some clear space from the competition. It would be nice if I could explain that so quickly.

“We have made too little of our possession of the ball, have not come close enough to finish the goal, have offered too little on the wings.

Especially in the last third and in pressing this is not as successful as we had imagined. That was not satisfactory. Definitely not.”

Dortmund disappointed against Augsburg in front of a crowd of 54,300 spectators.

Signal Iduna Park is capable of holding over 81,000, with the ‘Yellow Wall’ South Stand housing 24,500.

Those who did attend Monday’s game made their feelings known from the terraces, with a banner unfurled which read: “For fan-fair kickoff times! No to Monday games!”

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