Mueller fired up by Heynckes’ re­turn

China Daily - - SPORTS -

Bay­ern Mu­nich has “no more ex­cuses”, in­terim cap­tain Thomas Mueller told AFP af­ter vet­eran Ger­man coach Jupp Heynckes took over as man­ager of the Bun­desliga cham­pion.

Heynckes, 72, came out of re­tire­ment to take charge of the squad — his fourth stint with Bay­ern — when Carlo Ancelotti was fired af­ter a sting­ing 3-0 de­feat to Paris Saint-Ger­main in the Cham­pi­ons League.

“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,” the striker added.

Heynckes has re­united the coach­ing team which in 2013 helped steer Bay­ern to a firstever tre­ble of Bun­desliga, Cham­pi­ons League and Ger­man Cup ti­tles.

Ac­cord­ing to the Ger­man press, the Bay­ern stars were crit­i­cal of Ancelotti’s soft train­ing meth­ods, but Mueller said the team have en­joyed the ses­sions un­der Heynckes.

“So far we’ve trained very well,” he said. “We had two in­ten­sive ses­sions and we had a lot of fun.”

Bay­ern is cur­rently sec­ond in the Bun­desliga, but al­ready five points be­hind leader Borus­sia Dort­mund af­ter just seven matches. The de­feat in Paris also brought into ques­tion the team’s abil­ity to play at the high­est Euro­pean level.

Asked about the changes needed fol­low­ing Ancelotti’s dis­missal, Mueller laughed, say­ing: “What to change? The re­sults!”

Mueller is the cur­rent cap­tain of Bay­ern in the ab­sence of in­jured goal­keeper Manuel Neuer, Thomas Mueller, in­terim cap­tain of Bay­ern Mu­nich but the Ger­man in­ter­na­tional was not in Ancelotti’s start­ing XI as he strug­gled to find a role in the Ital­ian’s sys­tem.

Asked to ex­plain the team’s medi­ocre start, Mueller said: “There are things that have not been 100 per­cent 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.”

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