Tuchel 'calm' ahead of DFB Pokal final, amid uncertainty over his future
BERLIN -- Borussia Dortmund hope to avoid a fourth consecutive DFB Pokal final defeat when they take on Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.
Dortmund have lost four straight finals in recent years, including the 2013 Champions League final to Bayern Munich and the 2014, 2015 and 2016 DFB Pokal finals, two of which also came against Bayern.
"We just want to win that trophy now. We've returned to Dortmund empty-handed often enough," BVB captain Marcel Schmelzer told the prematch news conference at the Olympiastadion on Friday.
The left-back remains a doubt for BVB, but told the news conference he is confident he can return from a minor injury suffered only minutes before last week's Bundesliga match versus Werder Bremen.
The 74th German cup final could be the beginning of yet another summer of upheaval at Dortmund with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang reportedly set to make a decision on his future next week.
Bild claimed on Friday the Bundesliga top scorer has already told the club he wants to leave after four years.
"You obviously know more than us," Thomas Tuchel said when asked about the rumours.
The Dortmund coach himself could also depart after only two years at the club, but said that he is "absolutely calm" going into the cup final and is not thinking about next week.
"Last season, we said wanted to go to Berlin," he said. "It is different this year. We said we wanted to go to Berlin and win the trophy."
A few kilometres away from the Olympiastadion, Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke told a PR event that the club and the coach will hold talks next week.
Watzke said: "We'll wait for the cup final [to be over] and then talk. It would be wrong to say in which direction [we are going] before the talks. That's not how I do it."
Amid the uncertainty surrounding Tuchel, BVB have already scaled down their postmatch events. Having celebrated the Schwarzgelbe Nacht (the black and yellow night) with up to 2,000 people after each of the last four defeats, Dortmund will now only hold a banquet.
In total the club have played in a total of nine cup finals, but have won only three and have set a German record by reaching four consecutive cup finals.
Eintracht Frankfurt, meanwhile, have won the cup four times, but last lifted the trophy in 1988. They have only played in one final since, a 1-0 defeat to Bayern Munich in 2006. Two of the current Frankfurt players, attacker Alex Meier and defender Marco Russ, who battled his way back from cancer this term, were also part of the squad 11 years ago.
"It will be a special moment that Marco has fully recovered a year after being diagnosed with cancer," Frankfurt coach Niko Kovac said, while Meier said he was looking forward to his "career highlight."
Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.