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Klinsmann: There's a lot riding on the game

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Klinsmann: There's a lot riding on the game

Postby FCBayernNews » Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:15 pm

With eight players away on international duty and a clutch sidelined with injury, it has been a quiet week at the Säbener Strasse. On the plus side, everyone still in Munich has been refilling depleted energy reserves ahead of the final stretch of the campaign. fcbayern.de spoke to coach Jürgen Klinsmann about the benefits of a break, Luca Toni, and the tasks ahead in the Bundesliga and Champions League.

Interview: Jürgen Klinsmann

fcbayern: Jürgen, any news of Luca Toni?
Jürgen Klinsmann: "Yes, and it's good news too. He's training twice a day in Bologna, and we're hearing nothing but positive feedback from rehab coach Thomas Wilhelmi, who's with him. Everything's going extremely well, and we expect back here for team training on Monday."

fcbayern: Massimo Oddo is training again, and Hamit Altintop will return shortly. The break for internationals seems to be helping the club.
Klinsmann: "You can definitely say that. Apart from Miroslav Klose, we'll soon have everyone available again. Obviously, almost half the squad are absent, but a change may be as good as a rest for them. We're getting through really hard and focused work with the players we have here. In this respect, a short break in the programme can be helpful."

fcbayern: The break will also allow batteries to be charged ahead of challenging away games in Wolfsburg and Barcelona.
Klinsmann: "That's right. Wolfsburg will be decisive in determining the destination of the Bundesliga title and Champions League places for next season. There's quite a lot riding on the game. And the result in Wolfsburg will set our mood for the trip to Barcelona. We'll need all the confidence we can get. We'll need belief, and the knowledge we're in good shape. So you can't really separate the two matches. We need total effort against Wolfsburg, the team will have to go to the limit."

fcbayern: How much of a disadvantage is it that the squad will not come together until just two days ahead of the Wolfsburg clash?
Klinsmann: "In fact, we can't really start focusing on Wolfsburg until the Friday. With the exception of the South Americans, we'll have the players back on Thursday, but they'll only be good for regeneration work. It's a very short space of time, but we know all about this situation at Bayern. It would be nice if they all returned uninjured - and on the back of wins."

fcbayern: Martin Vasquez and Nick Theslof watched Barcelona beat Malaga 6-0 at the Nou Camp last week. What did your assistants have to report?
Klinsmann: "If you let Barcelona play, they show all their class. They play at an exceptional pace and their passing is incredibly accurate. That's how it was against Malaga. Malaga may have been too respectful, and they were blown away. We have to fight for every inch of ground in Barcelona. We need to stifle them, match their pace, wear them down, and then land a blow at some point. You can beat Barca, but you have to go to the absolute limit."

fcbayern: Barca legend Johann Cruyff has dismissed Bayern, saying it's Barcelona's game to lose, and he's already talking about Barca facing English teams from the semi-finals onwards.
Klinsmann: "I don't believe Barcelona will underestimate us. They won't think they're through already. They'll look at our goals against Sporting, and they'll be wondering what might hit them."

fcbayern: Is the Barcelona tie the biggest challenge for your team this season?
Klinsmann: "Everything that happens in the next two months will come down to mental strength. We're in great physical shape, the tactical basics are instilled and occasionally brilliantly executed - not every time in the league, unfortunately, otherwise we'd be top. We're about to find out where we stand in Europe. We'll know for sure after facing Barcelona. But I want to repeat this: the previous match in Wolfsburg is an accurate barometer for us. All of us - the coaches, the players, the management and also the fans - are in for a few really exciting weeks."
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