MONCHENGLADBACH, Germany — Christian Pulisic admitted that his form has been better, but he believes it will turn around soon, the young American told ESPN FC.
Pulisic has started all but one of Borussia Dortmund games since Nov. 25, but he came off the bench as they grabbed a third consecutive Bundesliga win on Sunday, 1-0 away to Borussia Monchengladbach.
The 19-year-old has only provided one goal and two assists in those 13 games, and he said he is fighting to get back to his best.
“[My form is] not the best it’s been but I’m working hard, trying to help the team everywhere I can,” Pulisic said. “But I just have to stay positive, keep going and things will turn around.”
Pulisic has played 2,242 minutes for Dortmund this season in all competitions, the third-most in the club behind only goalkeeper Roman Burki (2,970) and centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos (2,597).
Asked whether he could use a break to fully bounce back, Pulisic replied: “There’s no time for a break right now, so I’m just gonna keep going.”
Pulisic left Monday’s training session prematurely as a precautionary measure, with coach Peter Stoger telling Ruhr Nachrichten: “He got a knock on his ankle in Gladbach. He wanted to try to train today but he had problems when playing a pass. It’s nothing severe but we also didn’t want to risk anything looking ahead to Thursday.”
Dortmund will look to progress to the round of 16 in the Europa League on Thursday, as they head to Italian side Atalanta with a 3-2 advantage.
On Sunday, Pulisic came in as a substitute for German international Mario Gotze in the 74th minute to reinvigorate BVB’s attack that had struggled to create chances in the second half on a subpar playing field.
And Pulisic said the surface reminded him of the United States’ World Cup campaign, in which a loss in Trinidad in November prevented the Americans from qualifying.
“The bad pitch gave me some flashbacks to the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers,” Pulisic said after the match, adding: “It was a rough one out there but it was a good three points.”
Dortmund moved back into second place, keeping the gap to fifth-placed Schalke to three points while building a nine-point margin over 10th-placed Gladbach, who were in the hunt for the European spots going into Matchday 23.
“It was very important, definitely a much-needed win,” Pulisic said on the close race for Champions League spots. “We knew it was not going to be easy coming here but getting the three points was the most important thing.”
After Marco Reus’ fantastic strike over goalkeeper Yann Sommer from the edge of the box brought BVB ahead in the 32nd minute, the visitors struggled to fend off Gladbach in the second half. Dortmund’s pass completion dropped below 60 percent after the break, giving the hosts the chance to fire 22 of their 28 shots towards Burki.
The win meant a record for Stoger as the first Dortmund coach to remain unbeaten in his first eight league games — five wins and three draws — topping Peter Bosz’s record, who started his tenure with seven unbeaten league games.
“It was definitely a tough grind,” Pulisic said. “Both teams had their chances and it was a sloppy game at times but we did well and I think we deserved to win the game.”
Stefan Buczko covers Borussia Dortmund for ESPN FC. Twitter: @StefanBuczko.