Carlo Ancelotti says under-fire Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng is working hard to improve following midweek criticism from Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
Speaking after Wednesday’s 3-2 Champions League defeat at Rostov in which Boateng produced a shaky display, Rummenigge said Germany’s footballer of the year needed to “come back to earth” and implied his off-field commercial activities were becoming a hindrance.
Ancelotti, whose own position has been questioned following a run of three games without a win, accepts Boateng could do better but insisted the former Manchester City defender was just one player not currently performing to his capability.
He told a news conference ahead of Saturday’s game with Bayer Leverkusen: “It is clear the club is not satisfied with results. The words of Karl-Heinz Rummenigge were understandable.
“Jerome Boateng knows he can do better and the team knows they can do better. Boateng is an influential player here at [the club’s training centre] Sabener Strasse and he is working hard.”
Boateng may miss the Leverkusen game after leaving training early on Friday due to illness but Javi Martinez, Arturo Vidal, Arjen Robben and Manuel Neuer are all likely to be involved and Ancelotti is demanding a reaction following the midweek setback in Russia.
“We see the game on Saturday as a great opportunity to give a good performance, to play well and win” he added. “We want to and will show a reaction.
“Our tactics are clear but we need to drive the strategy better. We are working hard on this but the problem is not that tactics are not clear. We are well prepared for the games.
“Physically, we were very good in the last few games, the problem is not physical. We must be tactically and strategically better. We have given the opponents too many chances [in recent games], we must stop that.”
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!