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14.09.2018Bundesliga

'It's primarily about showing mentality'

After the two league defeats at the start of the season and the international break, the Werkself now go onto the third matchday of the current Bundesliga campaign at the weekend. With no points and sixteenth in the table – against that backdrop, Heiko Herrlich and his players are away to the champions of Germany and undisputed top team Bayern Munich on Saturday (15.30 CET).
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"The stats are clear – it's incredibly difficult to get a result in Munich. Nevertheless, that's obviously what we want to do, " declared a combative Heiko Herrlich at the pre-match press conference on Friday. "We're all aware of the situation. Tomorrow it's primarily about showing mentality and producing your best possible performance." Above all, it's about putting on a different display from the games against Gladbach and Wolfsburg. "My team has plenty of character and I'd  like to emphasise that. It's not the case the mentality has never been there – in a few of the games last season and now at times at the start of this one the mentality has been missing," said Herrlich in protecting his team while simultaneously demanding that lessons be learned: "The players have to be ready to be fully prepared and show total commitment to their team-mates and the club week after week over 90 minutes."

Herrlich demands disciplined PERFORMANCE

"They need the determination and absolute desire to want to win games. Since I've been here, I have tried to instil that attitude. And that's what I expect from team tomorrow. It's down to us all," said Herrlich. The international break was used to discuss and work through the evident failings in the Wolfsburg game; initially in a small group, yesterday – after the return of the last internationals – in larger numbers. "If you highlight things that weren't right then it is also preparation for the next match. It's a bit more involved when you're up against Bayern Munich, " said Herrlich. The special class and great individual quality of the perennial champions are well-known. "It requires great discipline to confront it. We have to create our chances," declared the 46-year-old manager.

Over the past few days, he has worked intensively on looking for the weak spots in the Munich team. And he has also sought advice from colleagues. "Of course, in the run up to the game it's worth looking at how other teams have played against Bayern Munich and where the possibilities are to win the match. Or, what you have to do as a team to come out on top," said Herrlich, "but, in spite of all that, we will try to put our own plan into action."

Aránguiz injured again – Hradecky set for debut

In addition to Julian Baumgartlinger (torn medial ligament), Panos Retsos (partial tear of thigh ligament) and Joel Pohjanpalo (circulation problems in ankle), Herrlich will also have to manage without Charles Aránguiz at the Allianz Arena after he played 45 minute in Chile's friendly against South Korea on Tuesday. "Charly played for the first half but then had to be substituted due to the old problems with his knee. We hoped he'd make progress in the internationals and get through it without any problems but unfortunately that wasn't the case. Now we'll have to see how we get him right. Above all, it's about the player's health," said Herrlich. In contrast, he may be able to call on his captain Lars Bender again. And also, Lukas Hradecky is in with a good chance of playing his first game for the Werkself tomorrow. "Lukas has just played two games for Finland – he's come through it well and he feels very good. There's nothing standing in the way of him playing," said the Bayer 04 head coach.

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