'We’ve taken the first step'

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Seven days in Doha have not gone by without making themselves felt. The players can tell from their weary legs how exhausting the week has been, their coach by his voice. Pep Guardiola has shouted himself hoarse. "You talk more when you're here than during the campaign, when you have a match every three days," the FCB head coach explained, drawing a positive conclusion to the training camp despite his husky voice: "As always, the players have trained very well. David Alaba and Arjen Robben are back. The conditions here are fantastic. It was perfect."

After ten training sessions the Bavarians set off for home on Tuesday lunchtime. "We've turned in good sessions, we've given everything. We've taken the first step," Holger Badstuber told fcbayern.de. The Munich men have worked hard in the Emirate, both in terms of running and playing. "At a training camp you're supposed to push beyond your limits sometimes. That's what we've done. Everybody's heavy-legged now," according to Badstuber.

'Need to improve details'

Guardiola was particularly pleased that his squad has grown in Qatar. Alaba, who had been sidelined with an ankle injury in the last few weeks, has resumed the squad programme. Arjen Robben also returned during the week after recovering from a cold. "The more players we have fit and available, the better our chances are to clinch titles," Xabi Alonso said, emphasising the importance of a large squad in the race for three trophies.

At the same time the players have to improve their play, warned Guardiola: "At the moment we're not ready to win the Champions League. We need to take another step forward, we still have to improve certain details." The main thing is to be dominant over the full 90 minutes and not neglect the core of your play even when you concede a goal, according to the Catalan.

'We're on the right track'

The aspirations could not be higher before the second half of the season. In the Champions League last sixteen Bayern are in for a "very, very tough challenge" against Juventus, explained Guardiola. "You can have a great campaign in the Bundesliga and the cup. But in the Champions League 45 bad minutes are sufficient to get you knocked out."

Preparations for the rest of the campaign will thus continue in Munich from Thursday on. "We still have one week and one friendly," said Guardiola, focusing on the first league fixture away to Hamburg. "The point is to turn in a good performance on 22 January," added Thomas Müller: "And I think we're on the right track."


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