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Time to back Babbel, says Heldt

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 30 Oct 2009


Stuttgart director of sport Horst Heldt has called on everybody to club together to help under-fire coach Markus Babbel lead them out of a crisis.

Babbel’s position as coach of the Swabians was confirmed on Wednesday despite defeat by Greuther Furth in the DFB-Pokal, but only a positive result against Bayern Munich on Saturday can save him from further castigation.

And after showing his and the board’s full backing for Babbel, Heldt has called on the whole club to get behind him.

“We can only get out of this crisis together,” he said. “We now need a community and that does not only mean on the field, but off it also.

“We need our fans to help us out of this difficult situation.”

Babbel would probably have preferred anybody but Bayern as opponents, but Heldt said the “name of the opponent doesn’t matter one bit” and that the “important thing is that the team does all it can to win again”.

Bayern appear to have left their own crisis behind them and have moved up to within four points of the joint league leaders Hamburg and Bayer Leverkusen.

However, trouble is always brewing at Bayern and this time it comes in the shape of central defender Martin Demichelis who has criticised coach Louis van Gaal in an interview with the Bild newspaper.

“I am not the only player who has been out for a long time, yet I have to fight for my place back in the team. That makes me angry and bitter,” he said.

“I am fit and am doing everything to help this team and I would have expected the same kind of support that other players who were making a comeback received.”

Demichelis was referring to Mark van Bommel and Bastian Schweinsteiger, who walked straight back into the team after injury whereas he has had to sit on the bench in the last few games.

But he has vowed to knuckle down and prove Van Gaal he is wrong to leave him out.

“I have loved and defended this shirt for seven years and it is like my second skin,” he added. “But I also know that a professional footballer cannot rest on his laurels so I will fight to the death.”

Demichelis will be given his chance in next week’s Champions League tie against Bordeaux, when Daniel van Buyten will be suspended, but Van Gaal is unlikely to make any changes to his side this weekend.


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