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Bayern´s belief is back insists van Bommel

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 1 May 2009

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Bayern Munich captain Mark van Bommel says the defending champions have regained their self-belief as the quest continues to defend the Bundesliga title after this week’s sacking of Jurgen Klinsmann.

The ex-Germany boss was fired as Bayern’s head coach on Monday after just ten months in charge following a poor run of results with his side third in the league and three points behind leaders Wolfsburg.

Former Bayern trainer Jupp Heynckes has taken over as caretaker coach for the five remaining league games, starting Saturday at home to relegation threatened Borussia Moenchengladbach, and a confidence-boosting win is needed.

“I reckon the club has rediscovered its belief, and so have the fans,” said van Bommel after a difficult week for the German giants who lost 1-0 at home to Schalke 04 last Saturday.

Having only taken his first training session on Tuesday, Heynckes has limited time to organise his side before their first game.

“He says exactly what he wants and doesn?t want,” said van Bommel.

“He puts things right and gees you up, he?s always clear in what he says. We like that.”

Heynckes insists a top two place in the league is his target to ensure Bayern make the Champions League next season.

“This club has to qualify for the Champions League. We?ll aim for that at the minimum, which means second place. I?m confident we?ll do it,” said van Bommel with five wins from five as the target.

“We?re assuming we?ll take 15 points, and we?ll see where that gets us.”

But coming after Klinsmann’s dismissal, Bayern’s French playmaker Franck Ribery has said he will he looking to leave Munich if they fail to reach the Champions League next season.

And goalkeeper Michael Rensing has also said he wants to leave if he does not play first-team football having spent the last few games on the bench behind veteran Hans-Joerg Butt.

League leaders Wolfsburg had their ten-match winning run broken at strugglers Energie Cottbus last Sunday and now face Hoffenheim who have dropped down to eighth in the table having now gone 11 games without a win.

Hoffenheim’s title aspirations, on their first season in the Bundesliga, were thwarted when top-scorer Vedad Ibisevic was sidelined at the start of the year after tearing his cruciate knee ligament.

“We want to enjoy the final games in this season and have some fun,” Hoffenheim coach Ralf Rangnick has said.

But Wolfsburg, who are two points clear at the top, will want a return to winning form.

The German media have reported Wolfsburg coach Felix Magath will leave to coach Schalke 04 in the summer, but the former Bayern Munich coach is staying tight-lipped on the issue, while the Royal Blues also refuse to comment.

The biggest clash of the weekend will see Hamburg host Hertha Berlin on Sunday.

Hertha are without star striker Andrei Voronin who is still banned having been sent off against Hanover on April 11 while Serbian striker Marko Pantelic will partner Brazil’s Raffael up front.

Hamburg played the first-leg of their UEFA Cup semi-final against Werder Bremen on Thursday and Bremen play Cologne on Sunday in the German league.

Five straight wins have pushed Stuttgart up to fourth in the table and level on 54 points with Hamburg and Bayern Munich in the pack chasing second placed Hertha, who are on 55.

Stuttgart are bidding to make it six from six at Arminia Bielefeld on Saturday.

Bielefeld’s key Polish striker Artur Wichniarek is on the bench with a back injury, while Stuttgart have Germany striker Mario Gomez in great form with 19 league goals this season including five in the last three games.

Friday

VfL Bochum v Hanover 96

Saturday

Arminia Bielefeld v VfB Stuttgart

Schalke 04 v Bayer Leverkusen

Eintracht Frankfurt v Borussia Dortmund

Karlsruhe v Energie Cottbus

Bayern Munich v Borussia M’gladbach

VfL Wolfsburg v Hoffenheim

Sunday

Cologne v Werder Bremen

Hamburg v Hertha Berlin

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