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'Keep on going'

In-form FCB poised for yet more records

The beginning of the second half of the season at the end of January was “like starting again” according to Pep Guardiola. “The clocks were reset on New Year’s Eve,” said Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. But two-thirds of the way into the current campaign, the head coach and the chairman are both very positive as Bayern maintain the record-breaking form of 2013.

Rummenigge believes the Club World Champions are in “outstanding shape” with a brilliant 2014 to date involving nine wins out of nine competitive games and a goal difference of 31 for and only two against. FCB are now 20 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga - a first in the German top flight. And Bayern have also added five points to a previous record of their own, as they are now up to 65 points from 23 games.

“We’re definitely having an incredible season,” declared Rummenigge. The chairman is extremely happy with a campaign that could very well lead to setting more new records. A victory at Wolfsburg on Saturday would make it 16 Bundesliga wins in succession for the treble winners and break the previous best of 15 wins in 2005. Bayern would also equal Bayer Leverkusen’s record start of 24 games unbeaten in 2009/10.

'Up for every game'

Bayern are also looking to extend several records. The Reds have not lost in the league for 48 games and Bayern fans have been able to celebrate at least one goal in all of the past 60 matches. The previous 15 have all produced at least two goals for FCB - also a new record. Bayern are definitely hungry. “Every single player wants to improve his game,” revealed Manuel Neuer, “and as a team as well. We want to put our philosophy into practice in every game - and, if possible, for the full 90 minutes.”

And all looks well in the other competitions. Bayern are in the last four of the DFB Cup after a convincing 5-0 win at Hamburg SV in the quarter-finals, with second division FC Kaiserslautern the final hurdle on the road to Berlin. The Reds are also in with a good shout of making the Champions League quarter-finals following the 2-0 win at Arsenal. Another reason to “keep on going” in the league, in spite of the comfortable lead, as Toni Kroos put it: “It will be important for us to be up for every game.” If not, he believes Bayern “will be below par in the Champions League.”

That is an unlikely scenario. As Kroos recently noted, Bayern are still in the mood and the will to win is unbroken. The chairman also unreservedly shares that view: “The reasons for playing the game are these: to win and to play well,” said Rummenigge. “The team and the coach have been incredible in achieving that aim in a way I’ve never seen before.”