Vol. 5 Num 926 Sat. January 06, 2007  

No more excuses: Magath

Bayern Munich coach Felix Magath has told his players they can have no more excuses after returning to training on Friday following the German winter break.

Bayern have had a poor start to the season by their double-winning standards of the previous two seasons.

They are third, three points off leaders Werder Bremen and second-placed Schalke 04, but Magath says post-World Cup tiredness is no longer an acceptable excuse.

"The World Cup is completely behind us, we have no more excuses," said Magath before heading out to Dubai, where Bayern will be on a training camp until January 14.

"We were not able to prepare together for the first half of the season and that showed in our performances since August: we were lacking a certain stability, we had difficulty in constructing our game," he added.

Bayern had 11 players at the World Cup finals and some of those, such as Frenchman Willy Sagnol and Germans Oliver Kahn, Lukas Podolski, Philipp Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger, only started training again two weeks before the season began.

Bayern have lost four times already this season, including three times against modest opponents. They were also knocked out of the German Cup by Aachen.

"We want to ensure we play better, the reasons for our poor displays will disappear," said Magath, who will put his side through tough physical preparation in the Gulf.

"If we play to our potential we are without a shadow of doubt the best team in Germany and we will prove it in the second half of the season," said Dutch striker Roy Makaay.

Bayern's first match after the winter break takes place on January 26 against Borussia Dortmund.