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Exclusive interview

Butt: We have to give it everything we’ve got

He is a seasoned and dependable campaigner for Bayern, he has already played away to Cluj, and he spoke exclusively to ahead of Munich’s Champions League trip to face the Romanian double winners. We asked Jörg Butt to name Bayern’s desired result in Cluj, how the players were coping with the club’s injury misery, and his memories and impressions of his previous outing in the Romanian city.

Interview: Jörg Butt Jörg, you were almost ruled out of last Friday’s Freiburg fixture with injury. Are you fit to face Cluj on Wednesday?
Jörg Butt: Everything’s fine. I felt some back pain in the warm-up before we played Freiburg, something went tight, but I was OK to play. I had treatment after the match and again on Saturday, and it’s all fine again now.

You can play, but Ivica Olic needs surgery and is out of action for the next six months. Holger Badstuber is also unavailable for the trip to Cluj. How did the players take all this bad news on the day before setting off for Romania?
You’re obviously gutted when so many injuries all come along at once, especially given the difficult phase we’re in. But that makes the team’s recent performances even more praiseworthy. We’re collecting the points we need at the moment. But naturally, we’re hoping to get as many players back as quickly as possible. Some are already near the end of sports rehab programmes, Franck Ribéry for example, and hopefully he’ll be back in the team soon.

The squad for Cluj comprises just 15 men. What are you expecting from the game?
We saw what we needed to know in the first leg. Even at 3-1 down, Cluj never gave up, they pulled a goal back to make it 3-2, and they had a chance to make it 3-3 on the break. That should be warning enough, and it definitely won’t be easy. It's looking good for us in the Champions League right now, but we can’t start thinking we only have to turn up to win in Cluj. We have to give it everything again, and do what it takes to win. That would guarantee our place in the knockout rounds, and would mean we’ve hit our initial target in the Champions League. That has to be our goal for Wednesday evening.

Have you played in Romania before?
My first appearance for Benfica [Lisbon] was a friendly away to Cluj, which ended 2-2. The Romanians can play football and they have good individuals. We shouldn’t be put off just because the names are relatively unfamiliar.

Bayern may well only need a draw to go through. Is that a dangerous position to be in?
No, because we want to finish top of the group, which means we have to win. A draw pretty much puts us in the next round, but doesn’t definitely mean first place. We need to go there and win, and it’s all done and dusted.

A win would also represent Bayern’s best-ever start to a Champions League campaign. Is that something the players talk about?
It's obviously nice to be involved as a player when records are set. But what really matters tomorrow is that we make the next round, preferably by winning the group. We can wrap it up once and for all tomorrow. Three points is what we want – end of story.