Heads still high at Bayern
Sun, 07/10/18, 12:30
Salihamidzic: We have work to do
FC Bayern lost 3-0 to Borussia Mönchengladbach on Saturday, and head coach Niko Kovac was clearly disappointed after his first home defeat of the season. Despite a good start and an overall courageous performance, his team left the pitch as losers. "The boys were willing and tried everything, but today, more just wasn't possible," the coach said, also identifying the reason for the loss: "We keep making individual mistakes, and at this level in the Bundesliga that gets punished.”
Where their opponents are ahead of the Bavarians at the moment is in their ruthless efficiency. Gladbach's Alassane Pléa scored with the first shot on goal of the game in the 10th minute, during what was a good initial phase for the Reds. And Gladbach's second attempt from Lars Stindl just six minutes later also landed in the back of the net. "The goals we conceded in the first half took away our confidence," said Kovac, admitting that at the moment "every shot [from our opponents] ends in a goal", but that his team are failing to take advantage of their own opportunities. Consequently, Patrick Herrmann increased Gladbach's lead to 3-0 shortly before the final whistle, while FCB, despite having some good chances, didn't manage to score.
Players still believe in themselves
The Reds have taken just one point from the past three Bundesliga matches. On Saturday, heads were hanging, but they also rose again quickly. As Niklas Süle explained, "It's a difficult phase, but one we'll definitely get out of as a team." And this was echoed by his captain. "It's obvious that every player is willing. Everyone is motivated and has the right attitude," Manuel Neuer reflected. According to sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic, the team have to "come together again" in order to get back on the right track. "Then the situation will pick up again, but for now of course we have some work to do," remarked the 41-year-old.
However, head coach Kovac will not have a complete squad at his disposal for the time being. Following the huge schedule of seven games in 22 days for the record champions, some players are now on international duty. It provides an opportunity to pause for breath, which is why the 46-year-old also sees positives in the call-ups. "I hope my players will be able to clear their heads while with their national teams," he observed, "the players might also return to Munich with a sense of achievement."
Back on the attack after the break
In just under two weeks' time, on Saturday 20 October at 15.30 CEST, FCB return to action with a Bundesliga match at VfL Wolfsburg, where the record champions will want to get back to their old strengths as quickly as possible. "We need to win the next game and move on fast," Salihamidzic said. Speaking for the team, Leon Goretzka agreed. "We'll go right on the attack again after the international break," the 23-year-old remarked.