Tuchel insists Bayern Munich coach search not affecting team's focus

By Sports Desk April 26, 2024

Bayern Munich's search for coach Thomas Tuchel's successor is not distracting the team from their preparations for next week's Champions League semi-final first leg against Real Madrid or their final Bundesliga matches.

That was the vow from Tuchel before Bayern first face Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday with the league title already secured by Bayer Leverkusen.

Bayern will part ways with Tuchel at the end of a disappointing domestic season, a year earlier than his contract.

Austria coach Ralf Rangnick confirmed this week there had been contact with Bayern while several other coaches have been linked with the club.

Tuchel, however, said the team was shutting out any such distractions as they chase a spot in the Champions League final.

"In the next 11 days it can only be football and the goals we can still reach," Tuchel told a press conference. 

"We want to collect points [in the Bundesliga] to get the best result and reach the Champions League final.

"For anything else, there is just no capacity at the moment, whether it is comfortable or uncomfortable despite the many issues."

With no chance of domestic silverware and Bayern battling to hold on to second place, three points ahead of third-placed Stuttgart whom they face in 10 days, Tuchel said it was clear Tuesday's game against Real Madrid was on everyone's mind already.

"I can accept and it is important that we all accept it that there is this background noise against Frankfurt," Tuchel said. 

"We don't have to tell ourselves a fairytale that we are only thinking 100% about Eintracht.

"There is this background noise that the Real Madrid game plays a role. When I get my coffee in the morning people don't say 'good luck for tomorrow' they say 'good luck for Tuesday' to me."

Bayern still have some injury concerns for the coming games with Dayot Upamecano doubtful after twisting an ankle in training and Leroy Sane racing to get fit in time for Tuesday.

Tuchel said: "We have a test [against Frankfurt] and either we are distracted or we find solutions. Put on ear plugs or headphones and study for the test. That is my task." 

The former Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain boss was also asked about over 12,000 Bayern supporters signing a petition asking for him to remain at the club.

"Even though this topic is good for me when they [the fans] wish you to stay, it's not something that is a priority and it isn't allowed to be a priority," he said.

"Whether it's pleasant or unpleasant, I don't allow myself to be influenced by it. We're only focusing on every day counting towards our goals and there is no exception here.

"This question is like the neighbour that is noisy at three in the morning, if we're honest! I'll set my headphones to noise-cancelling mode and ignore that. 

"This topic won't help me on Saturday and won't help me on Tuesday - and it is not my topic."

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