Friday, October 20, 2017

Hitzfeld urges Bayern to stick with Ancelotti

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 26 Sep 2017

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Ottmar Hitzfeld has backed Carlo Ancelotti to succeed at Bayern Munich amid growing scrutiny over the coach’s future.

Ancelotti won the Bundesliga in his first campaign in charge last term, but could only guide Bayern to a quarter-final exit from the Champions League at the hands of eventual winners Real Madrid.

A 2-0 defeat to Hoffenheim and 2-2 draw against Wolfsburg have left the team three points behind Borussia Dortmund in the early league table.

And criticism of the Italian is likely to increase should Bayern fail to produce a convincing performance away to Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday.

However, Hitzfeld – a Champions League winner as a coach with both Dortmund and Bayern – feels it is premature to question Ancelotti’s job security. 

“They have had bad results and at Bayern every game is going to be analysed and reported about,” he told DAZN. 

“Ancelotti has kept calm. This shows his experience. He knows that we cannot be in top form on the first, second, third matchday, that would not be good, because when they then come to the important games in the Champions League, in about eight weeks’ time or next year then, it is not ideal to be in early [good] form.

“Ancelotti is a practitioner. He knows what is important, and he is also a trainer who rotates a lot, giving many players a chance to gather game practice and he knows how to use the [resources]. So, therefore, Ancelotti is a very good coach for me.

“The most important thing is always the Bundesliga and they have managed to win it with a clear lead. In the Champions League [last season] they were also a bit unlucky with Real Madrid.”

Although Bayern trail Dortmund in the league after six matches, Hitzfeld expects a sixth successive Bundesliga title to end up in the trophy cabinet at Allianz Arena.

The 68-year-old also offered a reminder that Ancelotti’s feted predecessor Pep Guardiola failed to progress beyond the last four in the Champions League during his three seasons in charge. 

“Ancelotti will most likely again be German champion this year,” he said.

“And in the Champions League the hope is big, of course, to reach more than the quarter-finals. 

“And I would say, to be in the semi-finals with Bayern, among the best four teams in the Champions League or in Europe, then the task has been fulfilled. 

“This is a top value, Guardiola has always done that, and even [though] there was a bit of criticism about not reaching the finals… Ancelotti is still on a good [path].”

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