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Heynckes plays down Bayern title hopes

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 20 May 2009

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Bayern Munich’s caretaker coach Jupp Heynckes on Wednesday said that he does not think his side can overhaul league leaders Wolfsburg to win the German title.

“I can’t see anyone taking the title off Wolfsburg,” Heynckes told the Rheinischen Post in an article to be published on Thursday.

Going into the final day of the Bundesliga season on Saturday, Bayern are two points behind Wolfsburg in second place.

In order to win what would be their 22nd German title, Bayern must beat third-placed Stuttgart, with whom they are level on points, and hope Wolfsburg lose at home for the first time this season against UEFA Cup finalists Werder Bremen.

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge on Monday dismissed the likelihood of Wolfsburg being pipped at the post.

“We’re working from the principle that the dice have been cast, that Wolfsburg have a 99.9 percent chance of being champions and that there will be no huge surprises,” he said. “They won’t lose this title.”

Heynckes echoed his chairman by reiterating that it was more important for Bayern to make sure of second place and thereby secure direction qualification for next season’s Champions League.

“Even though Stuttgart are in form at the moment, I’m convinced that we’ll beat them,” he said.

“The team is working better and better, we’ve rediscovered the joy of playing and we’ll be at our best on Saturday.”

Heynckes, 63, was drafted in to replace the sacked Jurgen Klinsmann until the end of the season but said he had no intention to keep working as a coach when his stint at Bayern comes to an end.

“There are some offers, but I don’t want to take over another team,” he said.

Heynckes also voiced his backing for his successor Louis van Gaal, who was last week confirmed as Bayern’s new manager after leaving Dutch champions AZ Alkmaar.

“(Bayern general manager) Uli Hoeness asked me for my opinion and I told him there could only be one solution: Van Gaal,” said Heynckes.

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