MUNICH (AP): The dog did it.
Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes said Monday he was persuaded to return to the club for a fourth stint in charge after speaking to his family, and his dog.
“It’s been a difficult time, but my wife and my daughter said I should do it,” the 72-year-old Heynckes said at his presentation. “My dog also barked twice, so that meant I should do it.”
Heynckes retired after guiding Bayern to the Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup treble in 2013, but he has returned to take over from Carlo Ancelotti after Bayern’s poor start to the season.
Bayern is already five points behind Borussia Dortmund after seven matches. Ancelotti was fired a day after the team’s 3-0 loss at Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.
“Despite this difficult phase, I am confident that the team will quickly show a different side,” Heynckes said.
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Heynckes paid tribute to his predecessor as a “very good coach and a real gentleman.” He said he had nothing but respect for him and was very impressed when he met him in Madrid a few years ago.
Heynckes said there had been a clear hierarchy at the club under former players like Bastian Schweinsteiger and Philipp Lahm.
“These players sorted a lot of important things in the changing room. We need that again to give the other players more confidence. Success is the most important thing. From a sporting point of view, many things must be changed and improved,” Heynckes said.
“It’s no secret that Thomas Mueller isn’t playing to his full potential, or that Jerome Boateng has struggled after a series of bad injuries. I know what I have to do. I need to sit down and speak to the players, and re-instill that feeling of togetherness. I have a clear plan.”
Bayern now faces seven games in three weeks following the international break, including league and cup games against Leipzig, two games against Celtic in the Champions League, and a match in Dortmund on Nov. 4.
Heynckes said it will be tough to catch Dortmund following the team’s great start to the season, but “there’s no point talking about our objectives just yet. I need to restore the players’ confidence in themselves.”