Tuchel backs Kahn and Salihamidzic as Bayern boss rejects crisis talk and hails Barry arrival from Chelsea

By Sports Desk April 21, 2023

Thomas Tuchel slammed speculation about the Bayern Munich future of Oliver Kahn and Hasan Salihamidzic by stating the off-field leaders "shaped the club".

This has been a tough week for Bayern, with Champions League elimination coming at the quarter-final stage for a third successive season after a 1-1 draw with Manchester City meant a 4-1 aggregate defeat.

Tuchel allowed himself a joke in Friday's pre-match conference, ahead of the clash with Mainz, when he reacted to the arrival of set-piece mastermind Anthony Barry from Chelsea by saying: "Finally there is a good coach."

Most focus has fallen on the possibility of departures, however, with reports casting some doubt on whether Bayern will continue to back CEO Kahn and sporting director Salihamidzic.

"I read absolutely nothing," said head coach Tuchel. "I come here in the morning and I feel a good energy here. I try to influence what I can influence.

"I don't want to comment on the rumours. My cooperation with the club management is goal- and solution-oriented. Oliver Kahn and Hasan Salihamidzic shaped the club."

He added: "I don't rule out that some unrest affects the players. But it will never be completely calm. We focus on the things that we can influence ourselves. I don't know any other way."

Tuchel's team must reset and train their focus on the Bundesliga, their last remaining trophy target. Bayern head into this weekend's games with a two-point lead over second-placed Borussia Dortmund after both drew their last league matches.

According to Tuchel, Bayern are not themselves at the moment. "I rather sense an insecurity, an unrest that paralyses us a bit," he said.

He said the team should look to "turn dissatisfaction into energy", and Tuchel, appointed on March 25, has seen plenty of cause for dissatisfaction.

Bayern exited the DFB-Pokal to Freiburg under his watch in early April and have not gone beyond the quarter-finals of that competition in the last three seasons.

But Tuchel said: "This is not a crisis. We must not question everything. There is always a sense of reality involved. Many big clubs didn't make it to the [Champions League] quarter-finals. But we remain ambitious and we always want more. We're still first in the Bundesliga."

The arrival of coach Barry is a timely boost, with a deal agreed to take him from Chelsea, where he and Tuchel previously collaborated.

"He just arrived," Tuchel said. "Finally there is a good coach. I am very happy. We really wanted to have him with us. The whole package is right for him: his personality, the love of the game, the love of his job, his passion and his quality. He brings a lot of energy. His work with set-pieces at Chelsea was on a whole new level for me."

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