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FCB aim to mark Jonker debut with victory

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FCB aim to mark Jonker debut with victory

Postby FCBayernNews » Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:00 pm

The man in the FCB hot seat has changed, but the club's goal remains the same. A week after Louis van Gaal's assistant Andries Jonker took on the head coaching duties, Bayern go into the home meeting with Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday (Live in English from 3.15 pm CET on FCB.tv Web Radio) determined to end a season without silverware by finishing in a Champions League qualifying spot.

"We're the home team, so we're looking to win," Thomas Müller declared. "It'll be an interesting clash, and I hope we come away from it as winners." After Saturday's goalless draw between Hamburg and Hannover, Bayern (currently on 52 points) can reclaim third spot from Hannover (54) by beating Bayer.

Bayern President Uli Hoeneß said last week he was expecting "an explosion" from the team in Jonker's first match as head coach, while chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge urged the players "to give it their all, so that a spark on the field ignites the passions in the stands. Our team still has it in its own hands to finish third in the league and qualify for the Champions League."

"We've trained well, and the players are looking in good shape," reported Müller, commenting approvingly on Jonker's elevation from assistant to head coach for the remaining five games of the campaign. "He knows all there is to know about us and understands how to deal with us," commented the striker, "we're in a difficult situation, but we are FC Bayern. We shouldn't forget that."

Jonker favours experience

In the build-up to his maiden match as Bayern coach, Jonker has spent his time on the practice ground "passing on his enjoyment of the game and inspirational approach to the players," Müller revealed. For the clash with second-placed Leverkusen, the 48-year-old Dutch boss has opted for experience: seasoned pair Jörg Butt (36) and Anatoliy Tymoshchuk (32) are confirmed starters.

However, there will be no radical switch in tactics. "There's not a lot you can change in just a few days," said Jonker, rejecting any thoughts of a Catenaccio approach, but rather focusing on "optimising the way we defend. It's important we stay calm, that we believe in ourselves, and do what we want to do."

Selection concerns

The new boss's task has not been made any easier by a rash of selection issues. Arjen Robben and Holger Badstuber are suspended, and there are "a lot of question-marks" over Bastian Schweinsteiger (sprain) and Franck Ribéry (hamstring), Jonker reported. However, Daniel van Buyten and Danijel Pranjic have shaken off injuries and return to the squad.

A first win in Munich since 1989 for the visitors from the Rhineland, who are nine points ahead of FCB, would both strengthen their grip on second spot and propel them into the thick of the title race, provided Borussia Dortmund fail to beat Freiburg in the Sunday evening game. "We're the best team since Christmas, we have a stable line-up, and we have the quality to match our ambitions. We're in good shape," declared Bayer supremo Jupp Heynckes.
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