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Rummenigge: 'We're not intending to let up now'

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Rummenigge: 'We're not intending to let up now'

Postby FCBayernNews » Wed Mar 14, 2007 6:35 pm


Bayern has been a hive of activity in recent weeks. The club switched coaches at the beginning of February, before the team began playing catch-up in the Bundesliga and sealed a berth in the Champions League quarter-finals. Looking further ahead, officials are immersed in squad planning for next season, suggesting the time is right for <b></b> to sit down and hear the views of chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. In part one of our major interview, the former world-class striker looks back on a pivotal week in the 2006-7 campaign, before discussing the future shape of the squad in part two, to be published on Thursday.

<b>Interview: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, part I</b>

<b></b> What's your reaction to the 1-1 draw against Werder Bremen at the weekend?

<b><i>Rummenigge:</i></b> "It was a lucky result for Bremen. Our team were top class, it was our best Bundesliga display this season. We had plenty of chances, but unfortunately we only took one of them, and they scored an equaliser. People are fond of calling us lucky Bayern, but it's no exaggeration to say it was lucky Werder on this occasion. But there's no point licking our wounds. The result wasn't a source of pleasure, but the way the team played was. From my own experience, I know the way you play is what ultimately matters. The results will follow."

<b></b> What does the draw against Bremen mean for the title race?

<b><i>Rummenigge:</i></b> "It's a setback, but we'll have to get over it. We're certainly not intending to let up now, and we continue to believe we can achieve our target of qualifying for the Champions League. We'll have to wait and see if we still have a chance at the very top of the table. The players are up for it, and that's the most important thing. We're playing attractive football again, and the crowd's going home happy and satisfied, whereas they've often been frustrated - all too often this season."

<b></b> The Bremen fixture brought to an end a week described as "make-or-break" at the club. Where do Bayern stand right now?

<b><i>Rummenigge:</i></b> "We can be very satisfied with the week. We won in Berlin, we're through to the Champions League quarter-finals, and we totally dominated against Werder Bremen. One thing is certain: we're the form team out of the top four in the league. All credit for that to Ottmar Hitzfeld. In a short space of time, he's freshened up the team, and given them back their belief and stability. We're also seeing a return of each individual player's specific quality - take our three young Germany internationals or Lucio for example."

<b></b> Bayern now face old foes AC Milan in the Champions League quarter-finals. How do you rate the club's chances against the <i>Rossoneri</i>?

<b><i>Rummenigge:</i></b> "They're a tough proposition, especially because we have nothing but bad memories of them. We've never knocked out Milan. Even back in the Seventies, we always found it tough going, especially in Milan. I've not forgotten how we took a hiding at their place last year. But we have to lay the foundation for success in Milan, by going in search of a goal and a good result. Then we can go for it in the return in front of a packed house at the Allianz Arena."

<b></b> Are AC Milan as strong as they were a year ago?

<b><i>Rummenigge:</i></b> "They have certain problems. They lost the Derby last weekend and are now 33 points behind leaders Inter. It doesn't look as if it's going quite as well as last year."

<b></b> Returning to the Bundesliga, Bayern travel to relegation-threatened Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday. Is that really a tough fixture?

<b><i>Rummenigge:</i></b> "Yes it is, because we've almost always had problems against teams in the bottom third of the table this season, and dropped far too many points. We lost to Bielefeld, Wolfsburg and Hanover, and we've drawn at home to Monchengladbach and Bochum. That makes Saturday's match even more important. Naturally, we're hoping to make up ground. Stuttgart are away to Schalke, so something's bound to happen there. We want to take our chance, but we already know it'll be tough, because Frankfurt have their backs to the wall."
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