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Morning call

Jonker: We’re extremely well prepared

The big day has arrived at last, as Bundesliga and DFB Cup winners Bayern embark on the final stage of their Champions League quest this evening. Some eleven hours before kick-off, spoke on the phone with Louis van Gaal’s assistant Andries Jonker. The coach described the prevailing mood at the team hotel in Madrid, and talked us through the schedule for the last few hours prior to the game.

Interview: Andries Jonker: Good morning Andries Jonker. How did you sleep ahead of this evening’s showdown?
Jonker: “Very well, as I almost always do. The only time I sleep badly is after we’ve lost, but that’s not happened very often recently.”

Do you sense any nerves, any inner turmoil?
“I’m totally calm at the moment. I think the reason is that I and everyone else have huge faith in the team and the work we’ve all put in. I think we’re extremely well prepared for this evening. We respect Inter, but we’re not scared of them.”

The final must be a highlight of your coaching career to date.
“It’ll be a terrific game, and I’m really looking forward to it. Yesterday evening’s final training session was my first visit to the Bernabéu. It's a fabulous stadium, and the playing surface is excellent. I’m really looking forward to the atmosphere there in the evening.”

How’s the mood among the players?
“It's outstanding, as it has been throughout the last few weeks. We were all still relaxed and upbeat yesterday. I’ve not seen the players yet today, as breakfast isn’t for another hour. I think the players have the same belief in themselves as we have in them.”

Do the players already know who’s starting this evening?
“Yes, they’ve known for a few days now.”

What happens between now and kick-off?
“We have breakfast next, and then talks with the different departments in the team, i.e. the defence, the midfield, and the forwards. Three hours before the match, i.e. at 5.45, we have an evening meal and then a team talk. And then we set off for the stadium.”