Thursday, November 23, 2017

Guardiola confident in Bayern after mini-slump

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 18 Apr 2014

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Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola is hopeful an increased intensity in training can inspire a repeat of last season’s treble.

Guardiola’s side have already wrapped up their Bundesliga defence and remain in the hunt for UEFA Champions League and DFB-Pokal success.

Having been far from their best in the aggregate quarter-final victory over Manchester United in Europe, Bayern were then comprehensively beaten by Borussia Dortmund last Saturday as they suffered back-to-back Bundesliga defeats.

After progressing to the Pokal final with a 5-1 win over Kaiserslautern in midweek, Bayern face Eintracht Braunschweig before taking on Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final.

Guardiola acknowledged a lack of intensity in training could have contributed to their mini-slump.

“The game (at Braunschweig) is very important to us. It is the last test before the game against Real Madrid,” he said.

“I am sure that against Real Madrid, one of the best teams in the world, we will put on a good performance.

“After the game against Dortmund, we improved our training intensity. That was my mistake and not the players.”

Guardiola will be without Manuel Neuer and David Alaba for the game against the Bundesliga’s lowest side – the former having limped out of the defeat to Dortmund with a calf problem.

Alaba is suffering with flu although Guardiola did have positive news on the recovery of Thiago Alcantara, who was ruled out for up to eight weeks with a knee injury in March.

“His healing process is proceeding according to plan,” he said.

“We know how important the game in Braunschweig is. The best players will play. There are some injured so no rotation. We can not afford to rest.”

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