Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp claims injuries have made this season the hardest of his career.
Mats Hummels, Neven Subotic, Lukasz Piszczek, Marcel Schmelzer and Ilkay Gundogan have all missed significant chunks of this campaign, with the Serb set to miss the rest of season.
That injury crisis has Dortmund slip to fourth in the Bundesliga but Klopp insists that it is not linked with his side’s style of play.
"As far as injuries, it is the hardest [season] of my coaching career," he told Rheinische Post.
"It is farfetched when people say that injuries are to do with our style of play - you only have to look at who is hurt and why - you soon notice that they have nothing to do with each other.
"The good thing is that Erik Durm, Marian Sarr, Jonas Hofmann and others get the chance to play in a top league.
"A complete axle is broken with us; that changes the whole game. Two centre-backs, two full-backs, two defensive midfielders It changes the whole structure."
However, despite the difficulties of recent months, Klopp says he enjoys working with his current group of players, particularly with the progress they have made.
"It's a pleasure to work with these guys. You cope with the pressure of having to win. We are recognised as a top team and will be remembered as one."