Berlin - Borussia Dortmund stars Marco Reus and Mats Hummels have jumped to the defence of under-fire coach Lucien Favre amid reports Saturday he is on the verge of being dismissed.
Germany's top-selling daily Bild claims Wednesday's Champions League match at Barcelona could decide Favre's fate after senior club bosses discussed the situation late into Friday night following a woeful 3-3 draw with Paderborn.
"It can't go on like this with Favre," insisted German daily Welt.
Dortmund were 3-0 down at half-time at home to the Bundesliga's bottom club and whistled off the pitch by their own fans after the first 45 minutes.
Only a fight-back, thanks to second-half goals by Jadon Sancho and Axel Witsel, spared the hosts' blushes before Reus equalised deep into added time with a crucial header.
The draw puts Favre under pressure on the back of their 4-0 defeat at Bayern Munich a fortnight ago, but Reus and Hummels insist it is the players who are at fault, not their Swiss coach.
"Everyone has to take a good look at themselves, that's what we have to talk about, not about our coach," fumed Reus.
"The coach always prepares us really well. We are the ones who are responsible" for the poor recent displays.
Former Germany centre-back Hummels echoed Reus' defence.
"It's us on the pitch who make these mistakes. I want to make it very clear that it has nothing to do with the coach's position if we give away the ball without any pressure," insisted Hummels.
Dortmund have taken 20 points from 12 league games and are well off the pace in the title race, leaving fewer voices in support of Favre ahead of the club's annual general meeting on Sunday.
Sports director Michael Zorc described Friday's first-half display as "completely unacceptable" and said the club should "apologise to the spectators".