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Ribéry: The time to wake up is now

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Ribéry: The time to wake up is now

Postby FCBayernNews » Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:00 pm

Bayern's challenging match schedule for the next 16 days includes Bundesliga clashes with Wolfsburg, Hamburg and Kaiserslautern, and home and away meetings with FC Zürich. In the wake of a wholly avoidable opening-day defeat to Mönchengladbach, the men in red are determined to show their true colours away to the Wolves on Saturday, registering a confidence-boosting result ahead of the Champions League play-off first leg.

"We have to put Gladbach behind us," Franck Ribéry told Thursday's lunchtime news conference. "Obviously, it's a great shame, because it's basically a game we have to win. It's difficult for all of us, the players and our fans. We had 70,000 people at the stadium, and we've gone and lost to Gladbach," groaned the winger, making no attempt to hide his continuing frustration at the shock reverse.

He himself only played the last half-hour on Saturday, as he had returned to the squad just three days earlier following an ankle injury. However, the France superstar is confident of starting in Wolfsburg, and is utterly determined to set off back for Munich with the first three points of the campaign: "We'll need a completely different performance against Wolfsburg compared to our display against Gladbach."

The vast majority of the squad spent the first half of this week on duty with various national teams, a welcome distraction from the weekend disappointment. "It's a good way to clear your head," agreed Ribéry, who trained at the Säbener Strasse facility with a handful of team-mates after being omitted from the France squad for a friendly with Chile in Montpellier due to his injury.

Enjoying it but lacking rhythm

The arrangement fundamentally suited the 28-year-old. "It's been a good week for me, with plenty of productive work," commented Ribéry, who has basically completed a summer pre-season period with Bayern for the first time, and currently described his condition as "fit. I don't know whether I'm at 100 percent yet, but I'm feeling good. What I need now is playing time so I pick up the rhythm again."

Despite not quite being back in the rhythm, Ribéry insisted he was "enjoying it again" under new boss Jupp Heynckes, after a "tough season" without silverware in 2010/11. "I'm going for it on behalf of the coach. It's working well with him and we have a good relationship," the Frenchman revealed.

The winger knows Bayern must avoid a repeat of last season's below-par start. "It's still early days and we've only played one match, but the time to wake up is now, not two or three games later. That would actually be too late," Ribéry declared. "We need more pace and more aggression against Wolfsburg. We have three matches in the next week, and we have to win them all."
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