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Klinsmann sacking has helped Bayern: Podolski

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 13 May 2009

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Bayern Munich striker Lukas Podolski admits confidence is returning to the defending Bundesliga champions after coach Jurgen Klinsmann was sacked last month.

Ex-Germany boss Klinsmann was axed on April 27 with five games remaining after his side were beaten 1-0 by Schalke 04 to leave them third in the league table while Jupp Heynckes took over as caretaker coach.

While a replacement is sought for Klinsmann, Bayern have moved up to second in the table and level with leaders Wolfsburg with two games remaining as Podolski, 23, has scored two goals in his last two games.

Bayern picked up their 19th league win of the season on Tuesday night in the 3-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen and Munich are on course to retain their crown if they can win their last two games as Podolski says the improvement is obvious.

“We?ve come on well as a team in the last few games,” said Podolski, who will leave Bayern at the end of the season to play for Cologne having spent most of the last two seasons on the bench.

“We?re well-organised, training is good, and you can see the results out on the park.

“Jupp Heynckes has restored my belief, I?m confident about starting matches, and I think I?ve repaid his faith when I?ve played,” added Podolski voted the best young player at the last World Cup.

And having taken over from Michael Rensing between the posts, Bayern’s former Leverkusen goalkeeper Hans-Joerg Butt says his experience in Munich has been an eye-opener where success is both expected and demanded.

“There?s a completely different mindset here at Bayern,” said the former Leverkusen goalkeeper who has three caps for Germany.

“The entire club is geared towards success, trophies are all that count here.

“You?re expected to win the league and every match, you?re not allowed slip-ups.

“In Leverkusen we often looked good and played brilliantly against big-name opponents, but we ran into trouble and lost to the smaller clubs.”

With two games left, Bayern have a tough run in with a trip to Hoffenheim on Saturday before the final game of the season on May 23 against title rivals at Munich’s Allianz Arena.

Wolfsburg are at mid-table sides Hanover and Werder Bremen for their remaining games and remain top by virtue of a two-point goal difference, while third-placed Hertha are at home to Schalke 04 and bottom side Karlsruhe.

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