'We have to see desire'

The Werkself have a minimum of six games still to play this term. Ideally it will be seven. To make that happen, Bayer 04 need to overcome the newly crowned champions of Germany Bayern Munich on Tuesday in the semi-final of the DFB Cup. Before that, there is tomorrow's Bundesliga fixture against Eintracht Frankfurt at the BayArena. Heiko Herrlich emphasised that at pre-match press conference on Friday afternoon.

No wonder as Frankfurt are currently fifth in the Bundesliga and just two points behind the Werkself. A win for the Herrlich team could extend the lead over Eintracht and would bring the target of securing a Champions League place a step nearer ahead of the DFB Cup clash on Tuesday. "We want to make a positive impact on the game and take all three points," said the 46-year-old coach.

He hopes his players have learned from past mistakes and go into the game with the right attitude following the outstanding 4-1 victory over Leipzig on Monday. "We have to see desire. In the past it was less evident after we'd played well," said Herrlich in setting out his demands on his players. The Werkself produced an impressive performance in the 2-0 win against Borussia Mönchengladbach a month ago before a lacklustre display in the derby at FC Köln. "I think all the players recognise the situation – we're in the run-in at the end of the season and now we're playing an opponent on a level with us who are also in the race for a European spot," said Herrlich before adding: "And it would be huge step forwards if we can beat a top six team at home. We haven't managed it so far."

Pohjanpalo sidelined

To make sure that happens, he is once again trying to prepare his players as far as possible to take on the opposition. He has quoted Kevin Volland and Jonathan Tah as motivation. "Both of them said after the Leipzig match that the team has raised the bar and now they have to live up to that," declared the coach. "Those statements send a clear signal to their team-mates to demonstrate their readiness and repeat their success from Monday," said Herrlich before adding: "A team always depends on what's inside them  and the players have to show their passion."

Lucas Alario (suspended), Wendell (ankle) and Joel Pohjanpalo will all miss the Frankfurt game. "Joel hasn't made it unfortunately," declared the Bayer 04 coach, "there are still questions marks over Sven Bender and keeper Bernd Leno. Well have to wait for the final pre-match training session." Both suffered knocks in Monday's game. 

Congratulations for Niko Kovac

The Bayer 04 coach does not believe the opposition will be weakened in front of a full house at the BayArena by the announcement that Niko Kovac has been appointed as the new FC Bayern coach. "I assume the team and the coach are professional enough. They have European qualification in their sights. And they come here fully focused on that target and they will try to get a result." He did have words of praise for his fellow coach: "Congratulations to Niko. He has really achieved great things in the past few years and turned a relegation candidate into a team that has ambitions of competing at the very top. He's done a great job. My compliments to him.“


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