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We aim to lead by Christmas, says Bayern´s Klinsmann

SoccerNews in Bundesliga, Ligue 1 28 Oct 2008


Bayern Munich coach Jurgen Klinsmann said Tuesday he plans to have the defending Bundesliga champions back at the top of the table by Christmas as his side prepare to take on Eintracht Frankfurt.

Bayern jumped from 11th to 5th in the league over the weekend when they hit back from 2-0 down to beat Wolfsburg 4-2 at Munich's Allianz Arena, and aim for their fourth straight win at Eintracht Frankfurt on Wednesday.

Team manager Uli Hoeness has set the team the target to be top of the table by their final game before Christmas at Stuttgart on December 13 before the Bundesliga's six-week winter break begins.

“We will do all we can to try and meet every possible desire of Uli,” said Klinsmann.

“Our goal is to get to the front as fast as possible, the view from up there is much more pleasing.”

Having gone through the whole of last season undefeated, Bayern had slid down the table with defeats to Werder Bremen and Hanover last month, but last Saturday's fight dramatically improved their league standing.

As well as injury victims Philipp Lahm (ankle) and Luca Toni (ribs), Bayern will also be missing Brazilian Breno in Frankfurt as the defender has been given compassionate leave for the birth of his first child.

Having taken over as coach at Bayern on July 1, Klinsmann is far more relaxed now his team are on the right path with three consecutive wins and his four months of hard work seems to be paying off.

“If you want to continue to be on the same level as Europe's top clubs, you have to keep working hard,” said Klinsmann. “At Bayern Munich the foot is never taken off the accelerator.”

And with midfielder Franck Ribery back to his best after three months off with an ankle injury, the Frenchman is hoping to put Bayern top soon.

“We are not yet as good as we were last season,” said Ribery, who gave his first press conference in German on Tuesday. “We have still conceded too many goals, but our fear in games has gone.”

Ribery tore ankle ligaments playing for France against Italy at Euro 2008 in June and has now played seven games, three over 90 minutes, and scored his first goal of the season against Wolfsburg.

“I am very well,” said Germany's player of the year. “I am now perhaps up to 85 percent fit, I just need to make the last step now.”

And with newly promoted Hoffenheim finishing last weekend as Bundesliga leaders, Ribery is hoping they will be replaced by his own side.

He said: “They play very well, have fun and have earned the right to be top of the league, but hopefully we will be champions at the end.”

And Klinsmann said Bayern are a different side with Ribery bossing the midfield.

“For Bayern, Ribery is a crucial part of the team,” said the ex-Germany coach. It is very, very important for us that Franck gets involved, we need his creativity in attack.”

And Ribery says Bayern's tactics to get back on top of the Bundesliga need not be too complicated.

“We need to score the first goal, that always makes things easier.”


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