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Wary and watchful

Leaders expect ‘no stroll’ in Hoffenheim

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“Lads, put it in the net,” cried Jupp Heynckes, “concentrate!” It was clear from the final training session prior to Sunday afternoon’s Bundesliga visit to second-from bottom TSG 1899 Hoffenheim (Live in English from 3.15 pm on Web Radio) that the boss is determined to avoid even the slightest hint of complacency. “We mustn’t start thinking it’ll be a stroll – quite the opposite in fact. It’ll be tricky from the start due to the atmosphere. Whether we take something positive from the whole thing is up to us,” said the 67-year-old, who joined the rest of the travelling party for the journey to Sinsheim late on Saturday afternoon.

Approaching the 24th round of matches, Bayern are aiming for a 20th win of the season, thereby restoring their 17-point lead at the top of the standings – the advantage was down to 14 points overnight after Dortmund’s 3-1 win over Hannover. “My players know we’re still a long way short of hitting our major target, the German championship,” Heynckes told on Saturday. However, the head coach is convinced his players possess mental strength in abundance: “They won’t let up, and they’ll continue to play this brand of attractive, successful football.”