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Klinsmann: 'We know what we have to do'

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Klinsmann: 'We know what we have to do'

Postby FCBayernNews » Fri Nov 28, 2008 8:00 pm

A run of 12 games without defeat, a steady ascent from 11th to third in the standings, and a place in the Champions League knockout stages with a game to spare mean Bayern are "assured and confident," according to Jürgen Klinsmann, as they continue their push towards top spot in the Bundesliga. Whether the champions hit their declared target of first place before Christmas lies in their own hands, as FCB entertain current leaders Hoffenheim next week, after travelling to second-placed Leverkusen on Saturday (Live in English from 3.15 pm CET on Web Radio). "We're really looking forward to it," Klinsmann remarked, "we're in good shape and we aim to attack."

"We need to win and follow it up next week," Philipp Lahm declared ahead of the head-to-head clashes with the top two. "You're always fired up against teams ahead of you. We want to go top as quickly as possible." But each game has to be taken as it comes, first in Leverkusen, then at home to Hoffenheim, and finally away to VfB Stuttgart. "We have three more Bundesliga matches before Christmas, and we obviously want nine more points," Lahm stated.

Leverkusen represent the first hurdle. Along with Hoffenheim, the Rhineland side are the surprise package of the season, only dropping to second last weekend with a 2-1 defeat in Bielefeld. Bayer are now level with Bayern on points, three off Hoffenheim, but hold second spot on goal difference. "Leverkusen are up there for good reasons," commented Lahm, while Klinsmann said it was "impressive, what Bayer 04 have achieved so far. They're playing great football."

Then again, so are Bayern, with convincing wins over Cottbus (4-1) and Steaua Bucharest (3-0) last week. "We're in terrific shape, we gave a first-class display against Bucharest," Klinsmann said, although Leverkusen "are obviously in a different class" to FCB's midweek opponents, Miroslav Klose warned. "I've seen them four times, and they're an exceptionally dangerous team."

The side coached by former FCB striker Bruno Labbadia are unquestionably a potent attacking force. "They're very, very good going forward. They move well, give each other options and drive forward as a unit, which is difficult to defend," continued Klose, although the striker has identified a weakness too: "They've conceded a lot of goals when they've lost possession and been caught upfield."

Bayern have taken note. Klinsmann said his side were travelling to the Rhineland "confident, but with plenty of respect. We're expecting a very, very tough match, a boiling atmosphere at the stadium, and highly motivated opponents, who've had a week to rest while we battled in the Champions League. But we still intend to stamp our authority on the match."

The pre-match commentary from Leverkusen followed a similar theme. "We're not about to change the way we play just because Bayern are coming," Labbadia insisted, "we don't change our tactics to suit our opponents, we play to our own strengths and aim to impose our authority on a match." Bayer are likely to be at full strength after Renato Augusto and Stefan Kießling resumed training following minor illnesses.

By contrast, Klinsmann has lost three key players to illness and injury, but no-one at Bayern is about to panic. "If we play to our potential, I'm sure we'll win," commented Lahm, backed up by his coach: "We know where we want to be, and we know what we have to do."
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