'We must not tear ourselves apart' – Nagelsmann keeps calm despite Bayern dip

By Sports Desk February 18, 2022

Julian Nagelsmann called for improvements from Bayern Munich and insisted his side must not become disenchanted after two disappointing performances.

The reigning Bundesliga champions are six points clear of second-placed Borussia Dortmund at the summit, despite falling to a 4-2 loss at Bochum last Saturday.

Nagelsmann's side followed up that disappointing defeat with another unspectacular performance in Salzburg on Wednesday, where they required a late Kingsley Coman strike to secure a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash.

The former RB Leipzig head coach expressed his frustrations with the recent outings but expects his team to bounce back when they travel to Furth on Sunday.

"We want to remain critical and have a certain claim in terms of success," Nagelsmann told reporters at Friday's pre-match news conference.

"We have to back that up, but we mustn't tear ourselves apart either. The tide can turn quickly, there is a lot of evaluation.

"The mood is appropriate for the fact that we have not won twice. Tomorrow's winner learns from today's defeat.

"We had detailed discussions after the game against Bochum. We didn't score an early goal in the second half, it was similar in Salzburg. But the will was obvious there. I was totally satisfied, I'm convinced that as a Bayern player you have the right to be successful.

"And that should also arouse greed. We saw that we lost clearly against a team that isn't aspiring to the Champions League. That should be warning enough. No one walks around with the handbrake on purpose."

 

The Bochum loss was Bayern's first to a newly promoted side in 16 games, but the Bavarians may take confidence from the fact they have not lost two consecutive Bundesliga games against promoted teams since 1997. Furth joined Bochum in climbing out of the second tier last season.

However, Bayern have experienced their worst start to the second half of a top-flight season in 10 years, with only nine points accrued from their first five games of 2022, winning three games and losing twice.

The last time they lost two or more matches in the first five matchdays of the second half of the season was in 2008-09 under Jurgen Klinsmann (three), and Nagelsmann's task could be made more difficult as he revealed doubts over the fitness of Coman and Serge Gnabry.

Nevertheless, Nagelsmann remained balanced in his views as he prepares Bayern for just their sixth meeting in professional football with Furth.

"Football is a head game," he added. "We didn't intentionally play a bad first half in Bochum. You can't shake off the cup game that easily either.

"There's often a black-and-white mindset. We have three points more than last year. We need a little more self-image and sovereignty. The head is an important part of the body.

"It's often the case that you have more to do psychologically than in terms of football. I train a world-class team here.

"You have to recognise the moment when a structure doesn't fit perfectly. In the last three games we haven't been completely in the flow. In the end it's about delivering and not about taking long-term steps."

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