Nagelsmann replies to Matthaus jibe as Bayern boss expects reaction

By Sports Desk February 15, 2022

Julian Nagelsmann has backed Bayern Munich to bounce back from hitting rock Bochum.

The Bayern boss will send out his team to face Salzburg in the Champions League on Wednesday after a wave of criticism in the wake of a shock 4-2 weekend defeat.

Such are the sky-high standards at German giants Bayern that the 4-2 loss to mid-table Bochum in the Bundesliga has seen the team exposed to criticism and questioning, mostly but not exclusively from outside the club.

Bayern still hold a six-point lead at the top of the German top flight, and they will be strongly favoured to fend off Salzburg over two legs at the last-16 stage in Europe.

"If you concede four goals, the defence is of course criticised," Nagelsmann said. "Before Bochum we were good. We are by far the team with the most ball wins in Europe."

Nagelsmann said he had been looking at how Bayern's opponents were able to open up a 4-1 interval lead and added: "You can anticipate many things if you're greedy. We didn't have that against Bochum.

"Most of the time we're able to score more goals than we concede. In the Champions League and in the cup, of course, the impact is greater when that happens. So we are all willing to get a better result than we got on Saturday."

Bayern have come under fire from club legend Lothar Matthaus, who now works as a television pundit. Matthaus pointed the finger at Dayot Upamecano and Lucas Hernandez, saying they are not providing good value for money.

Nagelsmann said he would not comment "on every expert opinion that comes out without pressure from the leather chair", adding: "In the end, it's about us delivering such a performance that this kind of thing doesn't even come up."

Bayern honorary president Uli Hoeness suggested there was perhaps "not enough friction" in the team, and Thomas Muller responded to that and similar verdicts on Tuesday.

Muller said: "At the end we are judged on our results. It was a disastrous result against Bochum.

"We've already discussed that, we're very self-critical. We already have friction. Many of us have known each other for years. The powers that come from that trust unleash more powers. I see us on the right track."

Looking at the Bochum result, Muller said: "We don't close our eyes and tick it off, we're very analytical and self-critical."

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