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Schlaudraff: It'll have to be our best day ever

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Schlaudraff: It'll have to be our best day ever

Postby FCBayernNews » Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:20 pm

Jan Schlaudraff, a former Germany international widely admired for his elegant and inventive football, only spent a single season with Bayern, but he regards it as an important one. "I'm grateful for the experience," said the Hannover forward, who never emerged from the second string at FCB in 2007/08, but still came away with winner's medals from the Bundesliga and DFB Cup. "I'm afraid we didn't see the best of Jan Schlaudraff," commented Karl-Heinz Rummenigge at the time, after the player opted for a switch to his current club, who visit the Allianz Arena on Saturday. Schlaudraff is now 29 and thoroughly settled with the Lower Saxony outfit. In the build-up to the Bundesliga clash with Munich, he spoke to FCB journal Bayern Magazin.

Interview: Jan Schlaudraff

Bayern Magazin: Jan, games involving Hannover are often spectacular. Can you promise more of the same when you visit Bayern?
Jan Schlaudraff: Yes, we've had some very interesting games in recent weeks, but we'll try and keep the spectacular stuff to a minimum in Munich. We're rank outsiders, and it'll have to be our best day ever, especially in defence, if we're to contain Bayern's outstanding attack. And we'll have to try and hit them on the break from time to time.

Hannover won their last two home games against FCB, but you've not taken a point at the Allianz Arena since 2008. Are you still looking forward to your return?
Of course. It's a highlight of the season for every player when you play in the fantastic arena in Munich. We'll see if we can summon up a 110 percent performance, and hope Bayern perhaps have an off day. If so, we might come away with something.

You didn't make many appearances in your season with FCB, but you were up against stiff competition with Klose, Toni and Podolski, and you also had bad luck with injury. Do you still feel like a league and cup winner?
Hard to say. I was part of the team, but I didn't contribute much to our success. On the other hand, I felt very good during my year in Munich, and I learned a lot. I'm very grateful for the experience, and for the opportunity to work daily alongside so many world-class players. Experiencing the extreme pressure to succeed at Bayern was also very educative. However, it's not as though I've had 'league and cup winner' sewn into my boots.

Hannover have qualified for Europe two seasons in a row. How much did you contribute, and what's your assessment of the achievement?
Basically, I'm delighted I've been able to show what I can do, and contribute to our success as a team. But what matters to me even more is that we're now a functional team. We don't have the quality of Bayern, Dortmund or Schalke in the squad, but we have tremendous team spirit and we play good football. We've extracted the maximum from ourselves in the last two seasons, and we're trying to do that again this time.

As of last season, the side finishing fourth in the Bundesliga enters qualifying for the Champions League. Is that a realistic goal for Hannover?
When you see the potential at other clubs, that can't be our target. We want to establish ourselves in the top half of the table, and we're delighted we're currently on course for the Europa League again. It's all very, very tight in this region. You only have to lose a game or two and you're down to 13th or 14th, so we have to keep our feet on the ground.

Diouf, Ya Konan, Abdellaoue, Sobiech and you is an impressive set of attacking players. The coach is a fan of rotation, and all of you are scoring. Is it as easy as that?
We're definitely well off in attack and the coach has plenty of alternatives. But we also have good options to switch things around in other positions. I think we may have lacked the opportunity to hand one or two players a rest in the busy periods last season. Overall, we're definitely more flexible than in previous seasons.
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