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Days of labour mark start of May

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Days of labour mark start of May

Postby FCBayernNews » Tue May 01, 2007 10:40 pm


In the immediate aftermath of last weekend’s demoralising defeat to Hamburg, Ottmar Hitzfeld promised “incredibly hard” training until the end of the season. That has had implications for the first-team schedule: a day off on Monday is to be followed by two days of double training, the first of them landing appropriately enough on the first of May Labour Day holiday.

Some 300 fans gathered on Tuesday for the sessions, witnessing a series of passing and movement routines. “We’re focusing on precise, hard, low passes to speed the game up,” assistant coach Michael Henke explained to <b></b>. “We want the ball moved rapidly to the forwards with as few touches as possible.”

<b>Scholl back in training</b>

On Wednesday, the players will be told to emulate the ball and work on their pace. “We’ve organised speed training for tomorrow,” Henke advised. The sessions will also include a first round of tactical exercises as the coaching staff begin contemplating the line-up for Saturday’s Bundesliga trip to Mönchengladbach. Mark van Bommel and Hasan Salihamidzic are suspended after clocking up ten and five bookings respectively. “We’re going to try a few things out in terms of their replacements,” Henke noted.

One new option is provided by Mehmet Scholl. The veteran 36-year-old resumed the team training programme on Sunday after a four-week lay-off with a torn muscle. “He definitely can’t manage the full 90 minutes, but he could be included in the squad,” Henke commented.

<b>Calling up the reserves</b>

The matchday squad may yet feature one or two of the Bayern reserve team, a possibility floated publicly by Hitzfeld after the Hamburg fixture. On Tuesday, junior professional Mats Hummels was joined in the senior party by two fellow travellers from Bayern’s third division south second team, right-back Stefano Celozzi and striker Louis Clement Ngwat-Mahop.

“They’ll be with us again tomorrow,” Henke announced, although that did not automatically mean the youngsters would be in the squad for Monchengladbach. “We’ll have to wait and see. They’re training with us as part of the development process for talented youngsters here. It’s also a chance for us to monitor how the individuals fare at the professional level,” the assistant coach observed.

<b>Concern over Hargreaves</b>

One or more of the youngsters may yet make the squad simply to cover for injuries. Alongside Willy Sagnol, Lukas Podolski (both knee surgery), Valérien Ismael (leg surgery) and Bastian Schweinsteiger (rehab programme), Owen Hargreaves may be forced to miss the Gladbach clash.

The England international continues to struggle with an inflamed knee. “He’s doubtful,” Henke noted. Taken together with the suspended Salihamidzic and Van Bommel, the champions could be without seven regulars on Saturday. Days of labour clearly lie ahead for the Bayern medical unit too.
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