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Guardiola: Xabi fitted in very fast

Before the players and coaches at Bayern reconvene on Monday and launch into the crucial run-in to the winter break, Pep Guardiola has given Philipp Lahm, Xabi Alonso & Co three welcome and valuable days off.

“Obviously, the players and staff should get a bit of peace and quiet during the international break,” the Spaniard said. But before himself leaving the Säbener Strasse for a long weekend, Guardiola discussed a wide range of topics including Bastian Schweinsteiger, his team’s progress and the friendly between Spain and Germany. summarises the most significant statements.

Pep Guardiola on...

...Schweinsteiger possibly playing again in 2014: “One step at a time. First of all we have to see where he’s up to. He’s been injured for a long time and needs training sessions. But he’s very experienced, he’s a big personality and knows his body well. He’s back, and that’s first and foremost good for him, but also for us and for Bayern Munich. He’s been one of the most important players here over the last decade. Our job now is to help him recover his best form.”

...Bayern’s progress this season: “Obviously we can’t complain about our results. But let’s not forget it’s only November and there’s plenty of time to go yet. Looking at our results, all of us here and the fans are happy because we’re heading in the right direction. But in terms of our play we still have a few things to do.”

...the after-effects of the World Cup: “After a successful World Cup, maintaining the will to win, to run and to fight for one another isn’t easy. But the players have done magnificently so far. If something goes wrong, you have to work on it. Football is a process. And they’re putting in the effort and training well. We have a very good foundation.” during an international break: “The group is much smaller, so the players do more things well, and more things badly. You can take more time to watch individual situations. For players who’ve had a long time out it’s a good chance to recover their rhythm.”

...breaks from playing and training: “Obviously, the players and staff should get a bit of peace and quiet during the international break. Philipp Lahm and Xabi Alonso have played a lot recently, so it’s good if they can switch off for three or four days.”

...integrating new players: “Moving to a new country is a big problem for some players, but it doesn’t bother others in the slightest. For example, Xabi Alonso fitted in very fast. Our style of play suits some more than others, so there’s no simple rule. But if a player has the desire to help the team, he’ll fit in well sooner or later.”

...Spain versus Germany: “I’m really looking forward to a great game. Both teams have an outstanding coach and great players. The pitch in Vigo is good. Both teams like to get forward and want the ball. I just hope no-one on either side gets injured.”