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Hoeneß hails 'perfect' winter programme

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Hoeneß hails 'perfect' winter programme

Postby FCBayernNews » Sun Jan 14, 2007 8:20 pm

14.01.2007

Bayern's final afternoon in Dubai was dedicated to tourism as the Munich party set off on a desert safari, but even with sand dunes stretching as far as the eye could see, the main purpose of the trip to the Emirate was not forgotten. "Felix, I was almost expecting you to send us on a jog," Uli Hoeneß quipped in the direction of head coach Magath.

A programme of 13 training sessions in nine days, together with two hotly-contested Dubai Cup matches, has left the players exhausted but happy at a job well done, and the head coach beaming with delight. "It was a fantastic training camp. Conditions were ideal, and we were focused on our work. The team pulled together tremendously."

<b>Experiments and butterflies</b>

Fitness was the main focus of the ten-day stay, although tactics played an important role too. Magath used the matches against Benfica and Olympique Marseille to test a number of systems and player combinations. "I'm very pleased with my players. They were disciplined, and the different departments of the team came together well," the coach observed.

Nevertheless, the Dubai Cup had caused "a few butterflies in the stomach," Hoeneß admitted. With just a couple of training sessions behind them, Bayern came up against top-notch opponents who had not taken a winter break. "We might have found ourselves on the end of a three or four goal hiding, which wouldn't have helped our confidence," the general manager commented.

<b>Upbeat mood</b>

"But we acquitted ourselves very well," Hoeneß continued. Bayern fell to the Lisbon outfit on penalties, but overturned a 3-1 deficit to defeat Marseilles, claiming third place and a quarter of a million dollars in prize money.

The official was not the only man to speak positively of the stay in Dubai. The dressing room atmosphere was lively and harmonious, despite the heavy physical burden. As Roque Santa Cruz commented: "My body's telling me all about what we've been up to." The weather contributed to the buoyant mood, with sunshine every day and temperatures a comfortable 25 degrees. And the party was as happy as ever with the Emirates Towers Hotel team base.

<b>The royal touch</b>

On top of that, the squad enjoyed the privilege of using the Royal Palace sports facilities for half the scheduled training sessions, the first visiting sports team ever to be afforded the honour. "There can't be a better training ground anywhere else in the world," Hoeneß declared. "We know the hotel, the food is perfect, and the hospitality outstanding. So overall, we can say it's been tremendous. It rates as a perfect winter programme."

Not only were there no new serious injuries, but Dubai saw Sebastian Deisler, Owen Hargreaves and Mehmet Scholl return from lay-offs, with Valerien Ismaël set to rejoin the squad shortly. The only dark cloud on the fitness front is a concern over a flare-up of an old calf injury suffered by Willy Sagnol.

<b>Ready to attack</b>

The party landed back in Munich on Sunday lunchtime, weary and exhausted but ready to attack in the league and Europe. "The players are totally motivated. I can see they're raring to go," Magath remarked. Concluded Hoeneß: "It'll be the work of the devil if we don't play a lot better from now on than we have done so far."
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