"We'll play better in the second half of the season"

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Thomas Müller once again has the final word. His goal brought the 90-minute training session to an end, which saw the FC Bayern players working incredibly hard during their third session out at their Doha training camp. “It’s good for us,” said Müller on the high workload. But the Bavarian was not done there and the world champion decided to spend an extra half an hour out on the pitch practising shots at the crossbar!

"I was only punished once from my three attempts, so it’s a big improvement,” explained the striker after the game, which involves taking shots against the crossbar. Failure means standing in net and facing shots from your teammates. “We can still have some fun after an intense training session. The crossbar challenge is a good one for us,” said Müller.

The mood in the Bayern camp is good despite the tough sessions. “We can prepare well here,” said Robert Lewandowski, who believes the side are looking better than they did in the summer. “We had a weak spell during the first half of the season, but that’s normal after a European Championship,” according to the Poland international. “A lot of us had a long season, so the pre-season was short. But now we’re working very well and will play much, much better in the second half of the season.”

"It gives me a lot of hope"

Müller is also looking optimistically to the future and wants to build on the team’s good performances in recent games, with the 3-0 win over Leipzig the high point. “You saw that we stepped up our game once more and have slowly progressed in the last three, four weeks. It gives me a lot of hope for the upcoming weeks,” said the Germany international. “Personally, I would’ve liked a goal or two more last year, but we don’t need to quibble about that. I’m expecting a lot more of myself in 2017.”

Some of Carlo Ancelotti’s recent tactical tricks might help Müller and the team going forward, such deploying a player at number 10 behind Lewandowski. “We feel a bit better in attack with this formation,” remarked Müller, who’s preference to play in the centre could be particularly beneficial. “I need players around me, who I can combine with, who I can support, who I can free up with my runs. Or the other way around by making space for me to play in.” But Lewandowski also knows that Müller also needs some luck to start churning out goals again: “When that comes back, he’ll be banging in goals again.”

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