Julian Nagelsmann admits confidence at RB Leipzig has suffered due to recent results – but believes sitting second in the table may work to their advantage ahead of the clash with leaders Bayern Munich.
Leipzig go into the crucial fixture on a three-match winless run, their latest setback coming with a 3-1 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt in the DFB-Pokal on Tuesday.
They have slipped off top spot in the table and the blip is hardly ideal preparation for taking on an in-form Bayern side, who have won six on the spin in the league.
Ahead of the trip to the Allianz Arena on Sunday, Nagelsmann called for his players to get back to the style of play that was so successful earlier in the campaign, insisting they must embrace the challenge of toppling Bayern, rather than hiding from it.
“It’s no disgrace to say that after the last games we are not the most confident team,” Nagelsmann told a Friday news conference. “If the results and our play aren’t what we expect over 90 minutes, that’s what happens.
“With a win, or by reaching the next round in the DFB-Pokal, we would have had more confidence for sure. But this is no disgrace – we don’t need to hide.
“I told my players that this isn’t bad because we are a young team, young staff, young club. We were easy-going for much of the season but recently we were missing this. We didn’t risk enough.
“So now we are back to being the hunter, which maybe is good for us. We couldn’t win our last two games in the league, one defeat and one draw, so now it’s our turn again to win.
“We want to think about what we can win and not what we can lose.”
“Whenever you’re not getting good results 100% of the time, the team won’t be 100% full of self-confidence. Nevertheless we won’t shrink away in Munich. Maybe this title-chasing role is good for us, but above all we want to rediscover our form.”#FCBRBL pic.twitter.com/7scoCt3sqU
— RB Leipzig English (@RBLeipzig_EN) February 7, 2020
The two teams drew 1-1 at the start of the season when Bayern still had Niko Kovac in charge.
Now Hansi Flick is at the helm, with the head coach – who is in the role until the end of the season – overseeing an upturn in fortunes that has led to the reigning champions surging to the summit.
“They are very stable, they have made huge progress since the start of the season,” Nagelsmann said about Leipzig’s illustrious opponents.
“We need to put in a top-quality performance because, even if Bayern have a normal day, sometimes even 100 per cent is not enough. We have to hope they don’t have an extra special day.”
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