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Time too short for anger and recrimination

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Time too short for anger and recrimination

Postby FCBayernNews » Sun Nov 11, 2007 10:58 am


Famously summing up the relentless rhythm of football and the constant need to look ahead and move on, German coaching icon Sepp Herberger coined the phrase <i>Nach dem Spiel ist vor dem Spiel</i>, “after the match is before the match.” More than ever before, post-match is also pre-match for Bayern this weekend: Thursday evening’s UEFA Cup meeting with Bolton Wanderers rates merely as an overture to Saturday’s away Bundesliga fixture against champions VfB Stuttgart (<b>Live in English from 3.15 pm on Web Radio</b>).

“We’re going to Stuttgart looking for a win, and that’s all that matters,” declared Lukas Podolski, whose first brace in a Bayern shirt so nearly put paid to English Premier League strugglers Bolton. The capacity 66,000 crowd cheered as Poldi struck either side of half-time to overturn Ricardo Gardner’s eighth minute opener, but Kevin Davies’ equaliser eight minutes from time meant the Reds still have work to do in Group F.

<b>Rummenigge fuming</b>

"I'm really angry, because we could have won the game easily," Karl-Heinz Rummenigge raged afterwards. "We wanted to win and qualify for the next round, but we’ve fallen short of our target. We could have gone to Braga without a care in the world, but not any more,” the chairman thundered after Munich tossed away two points against the defensively minded visitors.

"I'm obviously dismayed by the result, but I'm not disappointed at all with the way we played, because we played well,” coach Ottmar Hitzfeld countered. “We upped the tempo after going behind and we were totally in control.“ For that reason, the 58-year-old was doubly upset at his side giving up the late leveller. “Our carelessness in defence handed them a goal, and I’m gutted about that. It was totally against the run of play.“ Hitzfeld remains confident despite the minor setback: “I’m sure we’ll still win the group.“

<b>No time for recriminations</b>

“At 2-1 up, we have to show the determination to withdraw and protect the lead, and certainly not concede another goal,” admonished captain Oliver Kahn, calling for “greater ruthlessness. It’s been a problem here for quite a while now, we’re not knuckling down and seeing the job through to the end. It won’t do on the international stage, you have to concentrate right until the very last minute.“

Bayern have precious little time to reflect on the dropped points. Just 42 hours after the final whistle against Bolton, Ottmar Hitzfeld’s men travel for an “even more important“ meeting with champions Stuttgart. “VfB are improving and they’ve won three in a row. We’ve been warned,” Hitzfeld commented, predicting a “high-octane clash“ with the side eliminated from the Champions League this week, “although they should have taken something from Lyon.“

<b>VfB more important than Bolton</b>

Hitzfeld identified the Stuttgart clash as the reason for withdrawing influential duo Franck Ribéry and Podolski after an hour on Thursday. “We have two games in the space of three days, and my decisions reflect that,” the coach explained. The players rested against Bolton - Philipp Lahm, Martin Demichelis, Zé Roberto and Luca Toni – are set to return on Saturday.

Lahm assessed the return to his former club as “a tick more important“ than the Bolton match. “VfB have a good team, it’s just not going so well for them right now. That kind of team is always dangerous, but we want to stay top.“ Summarised Hitzfeld: “Stuttgart will come at us. The entire Bundesliga is hoping Bayern trip up and someone else takes top spot.“

<b>Probable line-ups:</b>

<b>VfB Stuttgart:</b> Schäfer - Beck, Delpierre, Tasci, Magnin - Khedira, Meira, Bastürk, Hitzlsperger - Gomez, Cacau

<b>Bayern Munich:</b> Kahn - Lell, Lucio, Demichelis, Lahm - Altintop, Zé Roberto, Van Bommel, Ribéry - Toni, Podolski
<b>Also in matchday squad:</b> Rensing, Van Buyten, Jansen, Schweinsteiger, Sosa, Schlaudraff, Klose, Kroos

<b>Referee:</b> Mr Kinhöfer (Herne)

<b>Bayern’s record in the fixture:</b> P40 W21 D8 L11 F67 A49
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