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Hargreaves: 'Our fate is still in our own hands'

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Hargreaves: 'Our fate is still in our own hands'

Postby FCBayernNews » Fri Apr 20, 2007 10:00 pm

20.04.2007

France Beckenbauer once decried the UEFA Cup as the "loser's trophy", but the competition has been a constant theme in reporters' questions at Bayern's Säbener Strasse headquarters this week. However, the coaching and playing staff have declined even to mention the unfortunate tournament by name, with Mark van Bommel winning the prize for the most creative euphemism. "You spend your time writing about Ferraris, and suddenly you're talking about a FIAT Punto," the midfielder declared on Friday.

Coach Ottmar Hitzfeld has been taking a different stance. "I'm not bothering myself with it," he has frequently repeated. Van Bommel reckoned he "couldn't imagine" Munich in the UEFA Cup, declaring himself "100 percent certain" Germany's most successful club would again be represented in the Champions League next term.

<b>Favourites as ever</b>

Victory away to Stuttgart on Saturday in the 30th league fixture of the campaign would see Bayern recover third place for the first time since matchday 18. "Our fate is still in our own hands," declared Owen Hargreaves, mirroring his team-mates' refusal to contemplate defeat against the side lying third: "We have to think positively."

Nevertheless, the Munich camp has no intention of underestimating their opponents. "Stuttgart are a great team, as we saw in the first match," Van Bommel recalled, thinking back to Bayern's narrow 2-1 victory in Munich last autumn. "We have to respect them," Hargreaves added, "but Bayern start as favourites wherever we play, at home or away."

<b>Two points to catch up</b>

That factor was unchanged, the England international argued, despite a relatively poor season at the club. "We've conceded far too many goals and often lost away from home. That's not what you expect from the champions," the 26-year-old conceded. "But Stuttgart have had a great season, and they're still only two points ahead of us."

Bayern have set third place as a minimum target, but the title race is still not over. "Bremen and Schalke aren't as dominant as they once were," Hargreaves observed. "It would be better if we were second at the end," Hitzfeld remarked.

<b>Time for action</b>

After a week weighing up the relative merits of the Champions League and the UEFA Cup, Van Bommel put an end to the discussion on Friday. "We could keep arguing whether Bayern or Stuttgart are the better team until half-past three tomorrow," the Dutch midfielder asserted, "but at the end of the day, we're going there to win it, they'll want to win, and it's a crucial match. It's as simple as that."
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Postby MUTU » Sat Apr 21, 2007 12:21 am

The quotes are reeking of overconfidence. I hope they haven't started celebrating yet...
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