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Nerlinger’s straight talk

‘Our position in the table is unacceptable’

After what Louis van Gaal termed an “unbelievable defeat” away to Schalke, Christian Nerlinger might have wished for a quieter Sunday morning than an appearance on the Sport 1 Doppelpass talk show. But Nerlinger rose to the challenge, confronting Bayern’s difficulties in the league head on, and expressing optimism for the weeks ahead. The 37-year-old also discussed potential winter signings.

Christian Nerlinger on…

…why Bayern lost to Schalke: “We’re all frustrated. It's not just bad luck, because it's happened to us too often this season. We play well in the first half, it was the case in Dortmund and Gladbach, and it was the case yesterday. We create chances but fail to take them. Then we make a mistake or get unlucky, and go a goal down. That causes the team to lose the plot, and we don’t play the way we should be doing.”

…the current situation: “I’d agree with our honorary president Franz Beckenbauer: we’re light years off the title, but as long as it’s still mathematically possible, Bayern will never concede. However, when you’re so far behind, there’s no point talking about it for now. And we’re not trying to gloss over our position in the table. It's completely unacceptable and unsatisfactory. I’d rather not even look at the table any more. We’re in a precarious position. We need to face it with a united front, and move forward step by step. Our current target must be to qualify for the Champions League. But when I see the intensity and determination in training, I think it’s only a matter of time before we settle the situation.”

…leaders Borussia Dortmund: “We should congratulate Dortmund on a superb first half of the season so far. If they keep it up, they’ll deservedly finish as champions. Looking at the teams behind them, Mainz and Leverkusen, I can live with the gap for now.”