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'Enjoy it and keep our feet on the ground'

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'Enjoy it and keep our feet on the ground'

Postby FCBayernNews » Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:10 pm

The weather was good, the city enthralling, and the result ideal: Bayern's Champions League trip to London was perfect in many ways, promising much for the future. Shortly before the return flight on Wednesday lunchtime, Jupp Heynckes spoke to reporters. fcbayern.de listened in and has picked out the head coach's most important reflections and conclusions.

Question: Jupp Heynckes, are you still revelling in the victory over Arsenal, or have your thoughts already turned to Bremen at the weekend?
Jupp Heynckes: That's just what I was thinking about on the bus on the way here. You can't simply revel in matches like that. You start thinking about your analysis, training, regeneration and what might happen on Saturday. My team were great yesterday and we've taken a big step towards the quarter-finals. Scoring three away from home is a good foundation for the return.

Thomas Müller was named UEFA Man of the Match.
One player always has to be named, but you could just as well have taken Philipp Lahm, Mario Mandzukic or Javi Martinez, or nearly every one of my players. Yesterday again proved we're capable of exceptional football at the highest level of the European game. Even in the second half, when we weren't as fluid, and our opponents were aggressive and put us under pressure, my team knew how to escape the stranglehold. Our big strength at the moment is taking our chances at the right moment.

What happened to Manuel Neuer for Arsenal's goal?
I don't think you can stick it to Manuel Neuer. We didn't look good as a unit.

Which European teams are capable of beating Bayern at the moment?
You have the very best teams of all in the Champions League, at a similar level or even better than us. Take Juventus, who I saw last week. Or Manchester United, Real Madrid, Barcelona... we should enjoy it for now, but keep our feet on the ground and remember you have to keep proving yourselves over and over again.

Will we all be back in London in May for the final?
There's no way we're looking that far ahead. We still have to get through 90 minutes at the Allianz Arena against opponents who've played the most attractive football in the English league over the last 15 years. As we saw again yesterday, they have some outstanding players, but modern football is about working as a collective. That's where we're ahead of many teams. Our transitions from attack to defence were perfect, and we have so much creativity and quality up front, we can always settle a game in our favour. But the really decisive factor is keeping it tight at the back, compressing the play, and staying close to the man on the ball. These are the hallmarks of my team at the moment.

This weekend brings your 1000th match as a player and coach.
It's a staggering number, and shows how many years have gone by. I would never have dreamed of it as a player. It's enough material to write more than one book, although obviously, that's not something I'm going to do.

You singled Mario Mandzukic out for praise after yesterday's game. Is he currently your number one striker?
I don't think in terms of numbers one, two and three. We have three top-class strikers. Yesterday, Mario Mandzukic showed he's not just a fighter, but a really good footballer. He was an integral part of our passing moves, his runs were straight off the training ground, and he put one away too. It doesn't get much better than that.

You sense that younger players such as Thomas Müller and Toni Kroos have come on in leaps and bounds. How has that happened?
Young players need time to develop. Toni Kroos has come on steadily. He's an unbelievably creative, imaginative player. The way Thomas is playing at the moment is truly impressive. He covers an amazing amount of ground, and his sprinting ability is exceptional. He's physically fit, brimming with confidence and control, he's good in front of goal, and he also has the awareness to play in a team-mate.

Are you already thinking about next week's cup meeting with Dortmund?
I'm only thinking about Werder Bremen for now. We have to regenerate, and see how the players recover from the game in London.
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