Created on 21-05-2009 at 00:00 AM
Thursday was Father’s Day in Germany, but even the fathers in the Bayern squad were not excused a strenuous workout in the morning. Two days prior to the final match of the season at home to VfB Stuttgart, Jupp Heynckes supervised his second-to-last session as caretaker boss, where the focus was on positioning, linking the different areas of the field, and free-kicks.
Both Hamit Altintop (ruptured muscle) and Zé Roberto (adductor injury), who had been expected to resume the squad programme, missed the team session. Neither player is completely recovered from his injury, and both are now rated doubtful for the Stuttgart clash. A decision on whether to name them in the matchday squad will be taken after Friday’s final training workout.
The Bayern camp remains an upbeat and optimistic place. “We boast a lot of experience in this team,” commented Mark van Bommel, “some players, myself included, have been in matches where you can win or lose the lot. They’re the best games of them all.” None of the players is wasting a thought on the prospect of defeat and a potential fourth-place finish, the club captain insisted: “If we win, we finish second and go into the Champions League, and could even still win the title, so you don’t think about the UEFA Cup.”
Home cooking for Poldi
The goal on Saturday was to make sure of second place, emphasised Van Bommel, refusing to lay down the gauntlet to leaders and title favourites Wolfsburg: “I could come out with a provocative statement now, but it wouldn’t help in the slightest.” The task for Bayern was to win their own game, “and if something happens in Wolfsburg, we’ll happily accept the situation.”
Lukas Podolski is also hoping to sign off in Munich with a win. In his final news conference before returning to FC Köln, the striker confessed to a couple of regrets. “I’ve actually grown to like it here.” He had already begun the process of packing, the 23-year-old revealed. “I’m taking everything I have in my locker.” However, Podolski is also looking forward to the return to his home town: “I’ll be eating at my mum’s again.”