Football

Mueller: We have no more excuses not to perform

Jupp Heynckes starts his fourth term at German champions Bayern Munich with a home game against Freiburg tomorrow, knowing that his team must instantly snap back into winning mode.

The 72-year-old replaced the sacked Carlo Ancelotti last week after a string of bad results left Bayern second in the Bundesliga, five points behind Borussia Dortmund.

"A change of coach always releases energy, and I think we, the players, must now give a lot of ourselves. There are no more excuses," said Mueller at the Ingolstadt headquarters of Audi, a major sponsor of the club.

"The sacred fire is still there with Jupp Heynckes, he has given off a lot of energy since Monday with his team of coaches."

Bayern wasted two-goal leads to draw 2-2 in their last two Bundesliga matches and were also beaten 3-0 by Paris St Germain in the Champions League, a defeat that prompted the sacking of Ancelotti.

Asked about the changes needed following Ancelotti's dismissal, Mueller said: "What to change? The results!"

Explaining the team's poor start by their standards, the forward added: "There are things that have not been 100 per cent successful.

"In the last two matches of the Bundesliga, we led 2-0 twice and we drew both matches 2-2.

"Each time there were individual faults, perhaps due to difficulties in concentration, but we now have to be more rigorous collectively."

After two days of training, Heynckes found out about the team's difficulties such as a lack of hierarchy, self-confidence, fitness, communication, team spirit and tactical strategy. But he is confident that they will return to winning ways.

 

"I already feel a real spirit of optimism and there is a good atmosphere within the team," he said.

"I am confident we will have a positive attitude going into our next matches."

Under Heynckes, Bayern are to return to a 4-2-3-1 system, implementing a "double-six" in front of the back row. - WIRE SERVICES

bayern munichThomas Muellercarlo ancelotti