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Act of friendship

Heynckes to work on stars’ mental strength

The men sitting next to each other on the platform were Jupp Heynckes und Hermann Gerland, or “my old mate Jupp” and “old campaigner Hermann,” the terms used by general manager Uli Hoeneß to introduce Bayern’s new coaching duo to the 80 media representatives arrayed in front of him. “There are only four weeks left this season. That’s why we’re using all the reserves we have left as we try and tip the scales in our favour,” Hoeneß continued, a dozen video crews recording his every word: “We dealt with the past yesterday. From now on, we’re only talking about the future.”

Some 24 hours after the board announced a parting of the ways with head coach Jürgen Klinsmann, Heynckes was officially unveiled as the interim successor. “Helping Bayern a second time wasn’t part of my life plan,” admitted Heynckes, who has never before worked as a short-term fixer, but confessed to “a certain sense of duty” in returning to the FCB hot seat almost eighteen years after leaving it: “This is a gesture of friendship towards FC Bayern and Uli.”

Message from the chairman

Moves to restore Heynckes as coach only began late last weekend. The 63-year-old was on a long-planned trip to Munich as Hoeneß’s personal guest and attended FCB’s meeting with Schalke at the Allianz Arena. “After the final whistle, I knew my friend Uli’s mind was elsewhere. As it turned out, I was right,” Heynckes reflected. However, the notion that he might step in as caretaker coach was not mentioned at that point in time.