‘Not to late’ to claim title, says Bayern boss Tuchel

BERLIN: Bayern Munich manager Thomas Tuchel (pix) said on Friday his side still had a chance to revive their season with a Bundesliga title, despite sitting second with five games to play.

Bayern host last-placed Hertha Berlin on Sunday, but could be four points behind at kickoff should leaders Borussia Dortmund win away at relegation-threatened Bochum on Friday.

Tuchel has won just two of seven games since taking over as manager after the sacking of Julian Nagelsmann in late March, a period which has included elimination from the Champions League and the German Cup.

“We’re very honest with each other. We’re the last ones to sweep it under the carpet,“ Tuchel told the pre-match press conference.

“Everyone knows my opinion about the performances, but one of the nice things about sport is that you get an opportunity to make things good again the next time you play.

“We gave up five points in our past two games, twice after leading.

“Right now we’re not trusting ourselves and each other as much as we could be, but we’re aware of that and we’re working on it with openness and quality.

“We’re going to do everything we can to show a reaction.

“It’s not too late.”

Bayern have won the last ten Bundesliga titles and Tuchel admitted his side “no longer have it in our hands”, with Dortmund able to secure a championship by winning their five final games.

Tuchel confirmed number nine Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting would again be missing due to a knee complaint, but said the club was careful not to place too much responsibility on the shoulders of back-up striker Mathys Tel, who turned 18 on Thursday.

“We have to ask ourselves whether we are doing him a favour by giving him a start, because it’d be a really heavy load on him to send him in as our saviour.

“At the moment there are other players with more experience who can perform.”

Asked about a third-division game in Germany which was suspended after a fan threw a cup of beer at a referee, Tuchel said “football could learn a thing or two from rugby or handball regarding treatment of match officials”.

“It’s often not easy for me to tolerate decisions… (but) maybe we need to have clear rules regarding arguing with the referees, in order to strengthen the authority of referees.” -AFP