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Müller’s prognosis

'Gladbach will make life hard for us'

Thomas Müller was smiling and in upbeat spirits when he entered the Säbener Strasse media centre on Wednesday lunchtime. The striker and his team-mates had just completed the penultimate training session prior to Friday’s Bundesliga restart fixture away to Borussia Mönchengladbach. Two days ahead of the first competitive test of 2014 the 24-year-old was in talkative mood. records Müller’s most important statements.

Thomas Müller on...

...the 3-0 friendly defeat in Salzburg:

“Saturday’s match might have been a very good thing in showing us we won’t get anywhere at half pace and no-one will gift us anything. If we’d showed the willingness on Saturday that we’ll need on Friday there’s no way we’d have played like that. It showed we were only 50 percent up for it, but you start again from scratch in every match. Even the mighty FC Bayern have to work for every point.“

...the mid-season break:

“It was definitely good to have a break, especially in terms of recharging mentally and having time to ourselves. So much comes down to mental strength because your body can actually do more than you think. What matters is snapping into gear over and over again. It’s the most decisive factor, you have to rebuild your motivation from scratch time and time again. It’s not always easy especially with all the praise we’ve had, although it was justified because we swept all before us. But we still have to keep going. We’re always looking for our next success, and everyone has to be prepared for that.“

...preparations for the second half of the season:

“We trained well in Qatar and now we have to ensure we carry that momentum into our matches. We have to build up our competitive spirit, because that’s what made us so strong in the last year or two. If we produce that in matches we’re difficult to beat regardless of our opponents. But if we don’t we’ll always run into big trouble.“

...the restart fixture in Mönchengladbach:

“I believe we’ll play well on Friday but there are no guarantees. Gladbach will make life hard for us. We have to shake off the holiday mood because the season starts again on Friday. The first three points of the year are on offer and we don’t want to be moaning and complaining afterwards. The early matches are crucial. If we can show we’re up for it our rivals might give up on the Bundesliga title.“

...the FCB squad:

“We have excellent options in every area. We can cover for any injuries, so if everyone is fit it means tough decisions have to be made. You can only start with 11 players, including the Champions League first knockout round. It’ll show whether we’re really a team. I’ll give everything I have and try to make a positive contribution to our success as a team. If you don’t play every match it can’t hurt in terms of physical fitness. I hope and expect us to play as a team, and for everyone to accept the boss’s decisions and go for it. If so we can be successful.“

…the Champions League meeting with Arsenal:

“It’s a very tough Round of 16 draw, so the priority is simply to get through. The last 16 indicates whether you’re capable of accelerating from 0 to 100. By the time the quarter-finals come round you’ve recovered your rhythm and it’s much easier to adapt to the level. It’s going to be a real test of character.”