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Hard-working FCB set sights high

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Hard-working FCB set sights high

Postby FCBayernNews » Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:00 pm

Uli Hoeneß was in a good mood on Sunday morning. A handful of German holidaymakers who had snuck in to observe a training session theoretically not open to the public received a friendly grin, before the general manager shook Jürgen Klinsmann and his coaching staff warmly by the hand. Hoeneß was clearly at one with the world - and his positive disposition improved even further a couple of minutes later when a second training group, comprising the club's South American contingent, came over to greet him. Each was clasped by the hand and welcomed to Dubai.

Breno, Lucio, Zé Roberto, Martin Demichelis and Jose Sosa had all arrived in the Emirate the previous evening after a 15-hour flight, bringing the squad for the winter training camp close to full strength. Lukas Podolski (sinusitis) is due to fly on Monday after a final check with the doc, ready to start work on Tuesday. The only remaining absentee will then be Willy Sagnol, whose persistent Achilles problems mean he cannot even jog without feeling pain. test"It's a very difficult situation in his case. He's seen a number of specialists in an effort to clarify whether there's any other possibility for him," reported Klinsmann, revealing his "unbelievable regret" at Sagnol's long struggle for fitness. "He's an absolutely top class guy, but this injury episode has gone on a very long time, and it's left its mark on Willy." The Frenchman underwent surgery last summer and has not played since. Following the squad's return from Dubai, the player and the club would sit down and discuss the situation, Klinsmann reported.

Sagnol thus faces an uncertain future, but the coach is confident about the future for his squad as a whole. "They've grown together as a team. Over the last month and a half, they've developed the consistency we were always looking for," Klinsmann summarised, noting the spectacular individual progress made by certain individuals in the run-in to the mid-season break: "That's the main thing we're after."

Klinsmann hopes FCB can maintain their run of 16 matches without defeat into the second half of the campaign. "We want to keep on improving and pick up the pace more consistently than we did after our very difficult pre-season." One of the main goals in Dubai is to lay the physical foundations for just that. "We have everyone together now and we can focus very hard over the next three and a half weeks, getting the lads into the condition they need so we can hit the ground running."

Bayern are competing for glory in the Bundesliga, the DFB Cup and the Champions League, with Klinsmann aiming to keep up the triple trophy pursuit for as long as possible. "We face a challenging second half of the season, and a number of tough goals. We've set our sights very high." Dubai offers a perfect environment to prepare for the testing months ahead. "The climate and the training facilities with the pitch and the fitness room - we have everything." It's no surprise Uli Hoeneß is in such a good mood.
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