Thomas Tuchel confident Manuel Neuer will be stronger ahead of his Bayern return

By Sports Desk October 27, 2023

Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel has no doubts goalkeeper Manuel Neuer will return stronger as he prepares for a first game in almost a year after breaking his leg while skiing.

Neuer has been out of action since December 2022 following surgery on a lower leg fracture.

After stepping up his rehabilitation, the German World Cup winner is in line to make a comeback against Darmstadt on Saturday and should then be in line for Der Klassiker next weekend.

Tuchel feels Neuer, 37, will not need much reintegration as he takes over from Sven Ulreich between the posts.

“As long as nothing happens today, he’ll play tomorrow. He’s excited, we’re excited. There’s probably a lot of other people excited about it too,” Tuchel said.

“It’s a special situation. I can feel his excitement and his class. He’s got great experience. He’s enjoying things right now and he can he proud of himself.

“He should enjoy it, and that will make him strong. There will be some tension. Now we hope that he can quickly find his rhythm and things are all good.

 

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“His comeback is very impressive. I notice the difference in his condition. Our whole recovery and physio department and he can be proud.

“I’m almost proud of the fact he’s come back. It’s all far more than a given. I’m very confident he’ll quickly reach his top form.”

Tuchel told a press conference: “I don’t feel he’s tensed up. I think he’ll show everyone again, but there’s some joy in him that he’s done it.

“I see a whole new level in goalkeeper training. He’s in his own league. He should see it as a gift for his work. We trust his experience and intuition.

“He has been match fit for a few weeks, now he is going to get playing time, but he can compensate for it all with his experience.”

Neuer will also have an eye on making it into Germany’s squad for next summer’s Euro 2024 tournament on home soil.

“If Manu remains free from injury until the Euros and takes all his experience, then I don’t think we’ll be asking this question in May,” Tuchel said. “But the most important thing now is that he stays fit and can keep playing.”

Bayern host Darmstadt on the back of a 12-match unbeaten run, which saw them win 3-1 away to Galatasaray in the Champions League on Tuesday might.

With Bayer Leverkusen two points clear of them at the top of the Bundesliga, Tuchel knows there can be no room for complacency from his side against Darmstadt, who have lost five of their eight games back in the top flight.

“I can imagine they will want to surprise us,” Tuchel said. “They are dangerous out wide, have settled in at this level.

“Darmstadt sometimes defend very high, very aggressively, man to man, but sometimes they also defend deep with a back five.

“But we will be ready and will give everything to win the game.”

Darmstadt coach Torsten Lieberknecht is relishing the challenge of a trip to the Allianz Arena.

“We have worked hard for this Bundesliga game, that is why we feel anticipation,” Lieberknecht told a press conference.

“Everyone knows that it is not an easy opponent we face on Saturday. Nevertheless, we want to present ourselves well as a team.

“We know that we will definitely be busy defensively. We prepare the boys so that they can show their best performance on the pitch.”

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