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Hyypia wants Leverkusen improvement

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 8 Aug 2013

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Leverkusen manager Sami Hyypia has called on his side to improve despite their 6-1 win over Lippstadt 08 on Saturday.

Hyypia’s side entertain Freiburg in their Bundesliga opener this weekend after what was a convincing win in the DFB-Pokal.

However, he has reminded his players to step up their game, stating last season’s fifth-place team Freiburg will pose a much sterner challenge.

“From now on it’s going to be more difficult, we need more from the team than shown last week,” the Finn said.

“We are facing a team that had an amazing season last year. They (Freiburg) are playing strong and aggressive, putting in hard tackles, we need to be ready for that.

“Plus we need to keep playing our game, be quick and force them to struggle with our game, get close to the target and score.”

Leverkusen enjoyed a good season last time out, finishing third and qualifying for the UEFA Champions League.

Roberto Hilbert, Robbie Kruse and Emre Can have all been added to Hyypia’s squad over the close-season and the former Leverkusen defender believes the latter can boost his side’s chance of a repeat performance this season.

“Obviously, Emre is a great player and he is meant to help us this season,” he added.

“He was slightly injured and trained for three days now, we have to think about whether to play him or not at this stage.

“We don’t want him to struggle more on injuries, also after just three days with us he can’t be fully integrated in our systems, we need to be aware of it. We don’t know yet.”

Leverkusen lost just one of their pre-season friendlies, a 2-1 defeat against 1860 Munich.

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