Dieter Hecking gave his thoughts ahead of Sunday’s game against VfL Wolfsburg (18:00 CET). The head coach commented on…
… the league table: It’s great to have 24 points after 13 games. Four games remain before the winter break and there are 12 points on offer. Those that know me know that I would like 13 from this period. We’re in a good position at the moment and of course it’s nice to look at the table, but we want to maintain our form.
… the effect of being Bayern: The intensity often decreases after a win against Bayern because you’ve achieved something special. It was important to draw a line on the game and focus on Wolfsburg. None of the past eight teams to beat Bayern went on to win their next match. We want to break that mould.
… Christoph Kramer: A few tests were carried out early on in the week and the doctor said he should take it easy. We have a duty of care towards him – the player’s health always comes first. I knew fairly early on that Christoph wouldn’t be available against Wolfsburg. He should be able to return on Monday though.
… changes to the matchday squad: The team has coped very well despite the seven injuries. Matthias Ginter stepped up for Kramer in central midfield, while Nico Elvedi in central defence and Fabian Johnson at full-back also did very well. You could call these emergency changes but we dealt with the situation. I’m not ruling out that Sunday’s team will be very different to last weekend because there are a few players burning to get their chance.
… Sunday’s opponents: Wolfsburg are treading water a bit with all their draws. It’s a dangerous place to be because there are a fair few teams breathing down their necks, but the recent home games against Hertha and Freiburg strengthened their position. Wolfsburg’s recent setback against Stuttgart can be explained by Maxi Arnold’s sending off. They have enough quality to move clear of the relegation zone, but their current position is clearly increasing the pressure. A win against us would relieve that a bit, but we’ll be looking to make sure that doesn’t happen!
… his return to Wolfsburg: The first return was special because I received an official welcome. It’s just another game now. I had four successful years at Wolfsburg and I’m glad for that. I’m looking forward to being there this weekend but mostly I hope we can take three points.