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No day off

Training as usual for half a dozen stars

The dew covering training pitch number two at the Säbener Strasse facility showed no sign of evaporating on this chilly Sunday morning. But that all changed after 10 am. The senior squad technically had the day off but a clutch of first-team players still reported to headquarters, where they slowly but surely rid the pitch of the drops of dew with a series of running, passing and shooting drills.

Franck Ribéry and Arjen Robben left behind long trails on one side of the playing area. Supervised by fitness coach Lorenzo Buenaventura the wing men worked on stamina and sprinting. Ribéry then turned to exercises building up pace from a standing start. On the other side of the field, Andreas Kornmayer put Mitchell Weiser and Ylli Sallahi through their paces in a football-specific fitness session. Alongside them Lukas Raeder worked out with goalkeeping coach Toni Tapalovic. And on an adjacent pitch Daniel van Buyten performed his exercises with sports rehab specialist Thomas Wilhelmi, using a variety of equipment including weights and elastic ropes.

'Salzburg were better than us'

The six players were setting the agenda for the final week of mid-season training prior to the Bundesliga restart in Mönchengladbach next Friday. And Bayern still have work to do, as the friendly defeat away to Salzburg the previous evening indicated. “We learned some good lessons about ourselves ahead of the second half of the season,” commented Pep Guardiola after his team’s 3-0 defeat.

“My players want to win every game, and they were unbelievable in training in Qatar,” the head coach continued. However, he pointed out, defeats are always a possibility if a team fails to play to its potential. That is exactly what happened in Salzburg. “Our opponents were better than us. If we don’t play well, plenty of teams are better than us,” Guardiola warned. The Spaniard will next take charge of the full squad when they report for training on Tuesday morning.