Football

Heynckes urges fans to be realistic ahead of PSG clash

Jupp Heynckes, the 72-year-old disciplinarian who has steadied the ship at Bayern Munich, has urged his side to keep it simple for tomorrow morning's (Singapore time) crunch Champions League match at home to Paris Saint-Germain.

Bayern need to win by a four-goal margin to top their group, a situation they find themselves in because of the 3-0 thrashing by a Neymar-inspired PSG in the French capital that was followed by the sacking of coach Carlo Ancelotti.

GROUP B
 BAYERN MUNICH PARIS ST GERMAIN

At the time, defending champions Bayern were also five points adrift in the Bundesliga.

But Heynckes has stamped his authority on his fourth stint at the club after Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and president Uli Hoeness turned to their 2013 Treble-winning coach in their hour of need.

Bayern won nine of their following 10 matches and now hold a six-point lead in the Bundesliga.

However, in the Champions League, PSG arrive in Munich with a three-point lead over Bayern at the top of Group B.

Both teams are already through to the last 16, but the French side have a vastly superior goal difference after five straight wins.

It means Bayern need to win by four clear goals to wrestle top spot via the clubs' head-to-head record - a result no one in the German camp deems realistic.

"It would be an unlikely dream," said defender Mats Hummels, while chairman Rummenigge said beating PSG by such a margin is "wishful thinking".

Heynckes sees the game as "pure psychology".

"We want to beat them and show what we are capable of. Everything else is far from realistic," he said.

"I am someone who demands a lot," Heynckes added.

"The players will have to get used to that. Discipline is a part of life and work."

His predecessor, former AC Milan and Chelsea boss Ancelotti, had lost his dressing room long before the PSG hammering.

Arjen Robben quipped that training sessions at his son's junior team in Munich were tougher than what had become the norm at Bayern, but Heynckes tightened discipline immediately.

Politeness and punctuality are expected, no mobile phones are allowed during training sessions, which start an hour earlier than under Ancelotti.

The players tidy the dressing room and eat together after training.

Heynckes is a Champions League expert, winning it twice in the three seasons he has been involved in the competition.

In 1997/98, he lifted the trophy with Real Madrid in his only season at the Santiago Bernabeu.

With Bayern, he suffered the heartbreak of a penalty shoot-out defeat against Chelsea in the 2012 final in Munich.

A year later, Heynckes lifted the trophy when Bayern became the first German club to win the Treble of Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup titles before he was replaced by Pep Guardiola. - AFP

EQUATION: Bayern and PSG are through to the Round of 16. To finish as group winners, Bayern need to beat PSG by a four-goal margin.

Football