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Reds go in search of repeat title glory

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Reds go in search of repeat title glory

Postby FCBayernNews » Thu Jan 04, 2007 11:15 pm

04.01.2007

Following a 16-day break over the Christmas and New Year period, the senior squad reported back for duty on Thursday. Bayern officially commence their mid-season training programme on Friday, as the Reds set off in search of Bundesliga title glory. The reigning champions lie three points behind leaders Werder Bremen, a deficit described by chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge as "manageable."

By way of a change from previous years, there was no initial shakedown at the Säbener Strasse, as coach Felix Magath ordered his men to assemble at Munich airport on Thursday evening, from where the Bayern party will fly to a winter training camp in Dubai for the fourth season in succession. The ten-day workout in the Emirate on the Persian Gulf is intended to lay the foundations for a 21st German league title.

<b>Perfect conditions</b>

"The fact we're going back a fourth time indicates we've had perfect conditions on three previous occasions. The hotel is first class, the training pitches are excellent, and it's always between 24 and 26 degrees," Rummenigge explained, although there was also a financial incentive too. "It allows us to combine sporting and business interests, which is what every Bundesliga club would like," the chairman continued.

Everyone connected with the club has voiced high expectations of the Dubai camp as the means to improve on a patchy first half of the campaign. "We effectively missed out on summer pre-season training, so we want to prepare properly now," Rummenigge declared. "It's important everything runs perfectly in Dubai, and that the players appear as a committed unit."

<b>Focus on fitness and tactics</b>

Coach Magath is keen to see his men pick up form compared to the first few months of the season, ordering up a combination of rigorous fitness routines with tactical exercises. "We'll have everyone training together at last, which gives as the chance to experiment and find the formation capable of playing much better than we have done so far."

Striker Roy Makaay acknowledged that the team was capable of upping its game. "We're all agreed on the need to step up a gear during the three-week preparation for the rest off the season. We simply have to play better football from now on," the striker told <b>fcbayern.de</b>. That would depend on the entire squad reaching and maintaining the same level of fitness, "which wasn't possible in the summer after the World Cup."

<b>Results of secondary importance</b>

The programme in Dubai comprises some 15 training sessions, and two friendlies in the Dubai Cup against Benfica of Lisbon and one of Lazio or Olympique Marseille. "The results are of secondary importance in my opinion," Magath commented. "What matters is finding out best formation so we come off the blocks fast when we face Dortmund on 26 January."

The boss will select his preferred formation from practically the entire first-team squad. Owen Hargreaves resumes training after recovering from a leg fracture, with Sebastian Deisler set to return from a torn muscle. Andreas Görlitz has completed 12 outings for the reserves and is now fit enough for the senior programme. The only doubts concern Valerien Ismaël (rehab after double leg fracture) and Mehmet Scholl (strain).
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