Heynckes "very pleased and optimistic"
Any New Year's resolutions? It was a resounding "no" from Jupp Heynckes as he waved away the question. "The important thing is to influence proceedings yourself," he stressed on Saturday. And that is exactly what the FC Bayern head coach is putting into action at the training camp.
Seven of the planned eight training sessions have been completed in Doha, and Heynckes is very pleased. "You can see the quality the team has in training. You don't always see that with teams. That's why I'm not just very pleased but also optimistic for the coming weeks," he said of his impressions ahead of the friendly match against Al-Ahli on Saturday evening (17:30 AST / 15:30 CET / 14:30 GMT, highlights available on FC Bayern.tv).
Starting with the conditions ("outstanding") and weather ("comfortable") before talking about the commitment of his players, the team spirit and mood in the camp ("outstanding"), Heynckes only had words of praise on the penultimate day of the training camp. "My players came back from their short holidays highly motivated. It's great fun to work with the team and the whole supporting staff here."
Players "for the big moments"
Heynckes also drew positives from the fact that players such as Jerome Boateng, David Alaba, Thomas Müller and Franck Ribery, who had struggled with injuries in the first half of the season, were able to take full part in the programme in Doha. "It's logical that the players have to reach their full capability once again. That's the point I've made to them," the coach declared. In order to progress in the Champions League, "all players for the big moments have to be fit."
However, Heynckes does not want to know anything about a possible treble win like in 2013. "For me, being German champions is already a great success," he clarified. "Our fans can dream though."