Created on 14-02-2012 at 00:00 AM
The FCB stars were awarded a day off on Monday but reported back for duty the following morning, turning their focus to Saturday’s Bundesliga meeting with SC Freiburg. The away clash ushers in a packed period of four matches in the following 15 days, including the Champions League last sixteen first leg trip to FC Basel. A round of international friendlies in late February will also involve a majority of the squad.
However, Jupp Heynckes and his coaching staff are unswervingly staying true to the proven footballing method of taking each game as it comes, and are concentrating exclusively on Saturday's trip to the Bundesliga's bottom club. “What we have in the first instance is a vital league fixture," Holger Badstuber said on Tuesday, “we've made heavy weather of it in Freiburg in recent years, but there are important points on offer. We'll turn our attention to Basel after that."
Philipp Lahm also called for total concentration on the next opponents. “We're not right at the top of the league, so we have to come away with points," declared the club captain, drawing inspiration from last week’s pair of comfortable 2-0 victories in the DFB Cup away to Stuttgart and at home to Kaiserslautern in the league. “We're back on the right track, but we have to confirm that’s the case in Freiburg on Saturday," Lahm observed.
The skipper and his team-mates began their training programme on Tuesday with an hour-long fitness workout. Splitting up into groups of four players, the stars completed a series of exercises involving sprints, hurdling and work against rubber ropes, specifically aimed at improving speed off the mark. That was followed by familiar passing and positional routines, with a variant on four-a-side matches to finish the session.
Diego up and running
Despite heavy snowfall overnight in Munich, the undersoil heating serving the two first-team training pitches had done its job and the playing surfaces were immaculate as usual. Heynckes supervised all his available players, with the absences confined to injury victims Bastian Schweinsteiger, Daniel van Buyten and Breno.
Elsewhere, there was positive news of Diego Contento. The left-back has been out of action since breaking a big toe in training in mid-January, but was back outside jogging around the practice ground on Tuesday. However, no date has been set for the 21-year-old's return to the team training programme.