Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes believes the disappointment of a two-year trophy drought has spurred his team on to improve this season.
As last season’s UEFA Champions League runners-up sit nine points clear at the top of the Bundesliga, the 67-year-old knows his players must continue their form to prevent a repeat of last season’s title failure.
Heynckes has been impressed with the attitude shown by his men after being beaten to the title by Borussia Dortmund, as well as the heartache of losing the European final to Chelsea on home soil.
“Bayern failed to win a trophy for two years,” he told the club’s website.
“That’s not acceptable in the light of the club’s ambitions and expectations, and it’s been a wake-up call to everyone at the club.
“We’re now all working even more attentively, we’re even more alert, professional and focused.
“Every one of my players is stepping back from the limelight, and every one of them is absolutely a team player this season.”
As Bayern prepare to leave for a training camp in Qatar in the New Year, Heynckes is pleased the players get time to rest from their responsibilities on and off the pitch.
But he warned his players they had to return in top form when they resume their league season against Greuther Fuerth on January 19.
“The lads were desperate for the holidays. A pro at Bayern doesn’t merely have to play football. He has a range of other appointments on behalf of the club. It all drains your energy,” Heynckes said.
“We have to keep it up. I won’t deviate from our chosen course one single millimetre.”