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Acid test for crucial first few weeks

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Acid test for crucial first few weeks

Postby FCBayernNews » Mon Jul 25, 2011 5:40 pm

The stars had already disappeared into the changing room, but a throng of fans hung around at Bayern's Säbener Strasse training facility after Monday morning's 90-minute training session. The supporters were determined to collect autographs from Jupp Heynckes, who was busy rounding up stray footballs. However, the FCB head coach eventually came over to the crowd and fulfilled practically every autograph hunter's wishes, leaving many kids with broad smiles on their faces.

Heynckes is clearly in a relaxed mood prior to the final genuine test of the current pre-season period. The coach is hoping for "more significant lessons" from Tuesday's meeting with AC Milan in the AUDI Cup 2011 than from Bayern's other friendly matches so far. On Wednesday, the second day of the tournament, FCB will face either Barcelona or SC Internacional de Porto Alegre, also guaranteed to provide stiff opposition.

"Games against teams like this are obviously a completely different challenge. These are all top international teams," Heynckes said in an FCB.tv interview. "We'll see what we're doing well and where we still have ground to make up." The boss is making no secret of the need for further improvement: "We have to work on doing things automatically and on our overall organisation. It's not something you achieve overnight, so that's why it's good we're facing such tough opponents."

For Tuesday's meeting with Milan, Heynckes picks from a full squad, with the exception of injured duo Franck Ribéry and Breno. The battle for places in the team is heating up nicely, as the first competitive fixture of the season, the DFB cup first round trip to Braunschweig, takes place a week from today. "The players have to put themselves forward," Heynckes remarked, "I'll review what I see, and the team for Braunschweig will duly emerge."

Alaba: Young, hungry and talented

Rising star David Alaba has "a good chance" of deputising for Ribéry on the left in the AUDI Cup, Heynckes said, describing the Austria international as "young, hungry and talented." Jerome Boateng, not yet fit enough for last week's LIGA total! Cup, will join the rest of the club's summer signings in making his home debut. "He'll play a match at the AUDI Cup 2011," the coach revealed, although he added a word of caution: "Boateng was out for a long time with injury, and he's missed almost the whole of pre-season. We have to be patient, because he has ground to make up."

The midweek tournament, which has attracted sell-out 66,000 crowds for both days, represents a reunion for Boateng, as the 22-year-old could come up against his half-brother Kevin-Prince, who earned regular status for Milan with a string of outstanding displays last term. However, Jerome is not daunted by the prospect, "because Bayern need fear no-one."

Good memories of 2009 tournament

Looking back to the inaugural AUDI Cup 2009, the omens must be good for two successful days in Munich. The home side ultimately won the first edition of the tournament 7-6 on penalties against Manchester United, Daniel van Buyten converting the decisive spot-kick. Heynckes is hopeful of history repeating itself: "I'm very optimistic," the veteran coach declared.
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