Gotze vows to improve after forcing his way into Favre's plans

Mario Gotze struggled under Lucien Favre at the start of 2018-19, but has now forced his way back into the first team at Borussia Dortmund.

Mario Gotze celebrates with Dortmund team-mate Marco Reus.   -  Getty Images/Bongarts

Mario Gotze has pledged to improve after forcing his way back into Lucien Favre's plans at Borussia Dortmund.

Germany international Gotze has made just 15 appearances in all competitions for the Bundesliga leader this term, starting nine times.

He had to wait until October for his first Bundesliga appearance, but enjoyed a better end to 2018, featuring in seven successive league games.

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And while acknowledging he found his stuttering start to the campaign difficult, the World Cup winner is eager to grasp his chance to impress Favre.

"There are times when things are not going according to plan, and of course you never want those times," Gotze told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag. 

"The beginning of the season was very tricky, I have to admit. But I'm not a player who says, 'I'm down'. I'm a team player and think of the team first.

"It's important to reflect and draw the right conclusions. There is only one way for me to continue, [that is] working on myself, continuing to do my best.

"The way the year ended was again very positive for me. From this I draw strength for the next months."

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Favre, meanwhile, echoed Gotze's sentiment, adding that the playmaker has adapted his game to suit an intense style of play.

"He never let himself down and showed in every training that he wants [to be involved]," Favre told Bild.

"Mario plays in front and does that well, he runs a lot, defends and squeezes well."

Dortmund holds a six-point lead over Bayern Munich heading into the second half of the campaign, and faces RB Leipzig in its first Bundesliga outing of 2019.

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