Manuel Neuer says it is tough for Bayern Munich to replace Franck Ribery following the winger’s latest injury setback.
Ribery is expected to spend two weeks on the sidelines, having suffered a hamstring injury in training, putting his participation in the first leg of Bayern’s Champions League last-16 encounter against Arsenal in doubt.
“It’s difficult to say you can replace Franck Ribery one on one with another player,” the Germany goalkeeper told a news conference.
“Every player has different skills. But we are FC Bayern and we know we have a great and talented squad.
“Of course we are disappointed about the injury of Franck Ribery. However, we will have a great team on the pitch.”
The Bundesliga leaders have resumed their domestic campaign in 2017 with a pair of 2-1 wins but Neuer felt Bayern were below their best as they overcame struggling Werder Bremen on Saturday.
— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) February 2, 2017
“It was not our best performance and we didn’t play at our best. So we couldn’t play our game with quick and short passes,” he said.
“We had a lot of space between the different parts of our team on the pitch so generally our organization was not so good.
“In quick counter situations we were vulnerable. These are the things we have to improve and we work on every day.”
Schalke will provide the next test for Carlo Ancelotti’s men, meaning a swift return to the Allianz Arena for Holger Badstuber.
The defender, who has suffered a prolonged injury battle over recent years, is on loan at Schalke for the remainder of the season, but has been an unused substitute in his first two matches with the club.
“We are still in touch and chat sometimes, especially before our games,” Neuer added.
“I wish him all the best. Unfortunately he has not been on the pitch for Schalke but I hope he will play against us.
“I root for him in the next games, of course not for the game against us, but for the rest of the season.
“I hope he receives as much time on the pitch as possible and comes back stronger.”
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