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'We're pushed for time'

Coach still at work on first-choice line-up

Bayern are slowly but surely running into form, but with two weeks to go until the Bundesliga restart fixture away to last season's surprise package Hoffenheim, coach Louis van Gaal feels his team has plenty of room for improvement. Tuesday evening's 10-0 victory away to Stuttgarter Kickers has left the Dutch supremo no more than reasonably satisfied. "Against a team from the fourth division, it was all right," Van Gaal said.

"I want us playing at a much higher pace, and we didn't do that in the first half," the boss complained. "We forgot to establish territorial advantage, or we did it much too slowly." In the second period, and against an increasingly weary Stuttgart side, his team had "played a little better, and scored the goals to reflect that."

No date for Ribéry return

After three weeks of pre-season and five friendlies, Van Gaal is still in a period of experimentation, although the quest to finalise a starting eleven has not been helped by a plague of injuries among the squad. Some ten players were unavailable against Kickers due to injury or lack of fitness. Eight of those resumed the squad programme on Wednesday morning, including Tim Borowski, although he immediately became unavailable again on the news of his immediate return to Bremen after just a year away.