Leverkusen star Bailey eyes Bayern's scalp
Winger Bailey confident of shocking the Bavarian giants in German Cup semis
Bring on Bayern Munich.
That was the message from Bayer Leverkusen's star winger Leon Bailey after the club consolidated their fourth spot on the Bundesliga table by trouncing Eintracht Frankfurt 4-1 at the BayArena on Saturday.
A hat-trick by Kevin Volland and a headed goal by rising star Julian Brandt helped Leverkusen notch their second straight win by the same scoreline, following the previous week's victory over RB Leipzig.
Next up for Heiko Herrlich's young side are Bundesliga champions and Champions League semi-finalists Bayern Munich in the last four of the German Cup on Wednesday morning (Singapore time).
And confidence is flowing in Leverkusen's ranks as they seek to win their first trophy since the 1993 German Cup.
"From the last two games, we should have a lot of confidence because Leipzig beat Bayern (last month), so anything is possible," said Bailey, who has scored 11 goals and racked up seven assists this season.
"We have a good team, we're in good shape at the moment. We are hoping for nothing but a victory...
"If we overcome this obstacle then, in the final, it should be something better for us."
Something better could be on the horizon for the 20-year-old from Kingston, Jamaica, who has been linked to a move to the English Premier League, with Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea reportedly interested.
But, for now, Bailey is just having fun in a youthful Leverkusen team that feature 21-year-old Germany winger Brandt, 22-year-old Jonathan Tah and academy products Benjamin Henrichs, 21, and Kai Havertz, 18.
"The most important thing on the football pitch is to have fun. When we do that, we will play good football, because we have a lot of individual quality," said Bailey, who has yet to pledge his international future to Jamaica and has reportedly been monitored by England manager Gareth Southgate.
"And if we have fun and use our quality, we can display good football. And we have been doing that so far."
The good football displayed by Leverkusen was somewhat overshadowed by the sub-plots surrounding Bayern's coach-in-waiting.
Frankfurt manager Niko Kovac was surprisingly named the boss of Bayern for next season a day before the fixture, prompting an irritated response from the club's director of sport and former Germany striker Fredi Bobic.
Bobic told the Abendzeitung newspaper: "They did their thing. I find this extremely dubious and disrespectful.
"There was not any contact on our part with Bayern whatsoever. The speed (of the move) surprised us very much.
"We didn't like it at all. Behaving in such a way is out of line."
Bayern president Uli Hoeness, however, insisted that the club had done nothing wrong.
He told Sky Sports Germany: "What Fredi Bobic said was pretty outrageous.
"We were very professional. We used a clause in Niko Kovac's contract that (Bobic) put in himself. We deliberately told Frankfurt as early as possible, so they can get a successor."