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Press talk

Flick: I'm very optimistic

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FC Bayern retained their lead in the table when they drew with RB Leipzig last weekend, and they want to consolidate their position when they travel to face promoted side FC Köln on Sunday at 9:30 am ET. Coach Hansi Flick talked about the personnel situation and Bayern's upcoming opponents on Friday.

Hansi Flick on...

... the personnel situation: "Manuel Neuer took part in training as usual. Apart from Javi Martínez, Ivan Perišić and Niklas Süle, everyone's fit. David Alaba took a breather due to muscular problems today but should be available tomorrow."

... FC Köln: "They've been very successful since Markus Gisdol took over as coach. Köln presses high up the field at times, they can hurt their opponents. We'll try to prevent that."

... on Bayern's defense: "David Alaba played at left-back for years. At the end of the day, it isn't so important whether three left-footed or three right-footed players defend. We were forced to switch against Leipzig."

... on Coman and Hernández: "We're glad both recovered quickly and that they're doing a good job in training. We don't know if they can play 90 minutes. They need match practice of course. The goal is to have everyone at 100 percent when the next phase of midweek matches starts."

... on Ulreich: "We considered fielding Sven in the home match against Tottenham. We want to reward Sven's performances in training, his attitude and professionalism. Manuel is fit so we aren't considering it for Köln. But I won't be worried in the slightest if Manuel is nursing a knock. We're very pleased to have such a backup keeper."

... on Odriozola: "We needed a backup. We've been successful so far in the second half of the season, so it's clear the coach doesn't make changes when there are no midweek matches. Álvaro trains very well, it's good to know we have such an option. His mentality is outstanding, and he accepts the situation very well."

... on the communication with the team: "It's important to have a good team around you - and I have it, my staff. Communication is crucial. A good atmosphere is important. Being able to talk frankly is part of it. I'm very optimistic, especially about the match away to Köln. We want to have everyone on board. That's working quite well at the moment, and the players approach me. That's a good and important sign."

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