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Neuer: Stuttgart are totally unpredictable

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Neuer: Stuttgart are totally unpredictable

Postby FCBayernNews » Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:20 pm

For the most part, a football crowd erupts when goals are scored, and the TV highlights focus on brilliant attacking, but Bayern's defensive performance this season is worthy of just as much respect, as the Reds have conceded only seven times in 18 Bundesliga matches. And if FCB keep another clean sheet in Stuttgart this Sunday, it would set a new German top-flight record.

At the same point last term, Munich had let in almost twice as many goals, but this season's meanness is partly attributable to Manuel Neuer and his skill in marshalling the defenders in front of him. Prior to the clash with South German rivals VfB, the Germany keeper spoke to fcbayern.de about the benefits of a strong rearguard, his personal progress, and the challenges ahead.

Interview: Manuel Neuer

fcbayern.de: Manuel, you've yet to let in a goal in 2013, in a friendly or in the Bundesliga.
Manuel Neuer: Yes, it's definitely out of the ordinary. The good thing is that when we keep a clean sheet, it usually means we go on to win, because our forwards are basically always good for a goal. Hopefully the run will continue for a while.

Are you proud of the fact you've only conceded seven league goals so far this term?
The problem is we're only halfway through the season. It means we have to stay very, very calm and always remember we still have a long way to go yet. It can all change very quickly: you sometimes lose a match unluckily due to silly goals, like the home meeting with Leverkusen in the autumn, for example.

What was lacking in the restart match against Fürth?
We didn't create enough gilt-edged chances. That has to improve, although Fürth were extremely defensive and there were hardly any gaps. The important thing was that we kept our cool and hardly gave them a sniff in front of our goal.

Might there have been a bit more entertainment for the crowd?
Obviously, a game like Schalke's 5-4 victory over Hannover last Friday is far more exciting and enjoyable for the fans in the stands. But I'm no longer a spectator these days, I'm a pro footballer, which is exactly the reason I also really like a good workmanlike victory (laughs).

Does every team need a couple of weeks to rediscover their rhythm after a break?
You always feel good after pre-season or mid-season training. You know you've worked hard and you've worked well, but the problem is that all the other Bundesliga teams feel exactly the same. They've not spent the break fast asleep. And that's why it always takes two or three games before you know where you stand.

Nevertheless, what's the mood in the dressing room at the moment?
It's very positive. This week, we've again had plenty of time to fine-tune a number of areas. Despite the snow and the chill, conditions at the Säbener Strasse were excellent. We're ready for Stuttgart.

What are you expecting on Sunday?
VfB are totally unpredictable this season. Some of their performances have been very good, others less so. We have to take control of the match and mustn't let ourselves be caught on the hop.

As a goalkeeper, do you make any special preparations for a striker such as Vedad Ibisevic?
No. I know all there is to know about all the strikers in the Bundesliga nowadays. And Vedad Ibisevic has been around for a few years. I know what he's made of.

After the Stuttgart clash, you face Mainz and then your former club Schalke.
The next few weeks will tell us a lot about where we're heading. We have to lay the foundations for the rest of the season, boost our confidence, and keep sending out an unmistakable message to our rivals.

Turning to you personally, Matthias Sammer recently said you're a big personality and exceptionally good for Bayern. Does a statement like that hand you extra motivation?
It's obviously something you're delighted to hear. I've taken a big step forward this season and I'm accepting even more responsibility. However, I can't rest on my laurels, I have to keep working on my game.

How's your relationship with backup keeper Tom Starke?
We're a team and we help one another. Tom interprets his role totally professionally and always gives 100 percent. And that drives me on to higher things too, because I know I can't let up for an instant.
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Re: Neuer: Stuttgart are totally unpredictable

Postby AdepT » Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:05 am

FCBayernNews wrote:As a goalkeeper, do you make any special preparations for a striker such as Vedad Ibisevic?
No. I know all there is to know about all the strikers in the Bundesliga nowadays. And Vedad Ibisevic has been around for a few years. I know what he's made of.

Spoken like a true BOSS! 8)
'To be successful, you have to give everything.' - Bastian Schweinsteiger
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