Club World Cup: Bayern boss Flick will not use travel delay as excuse

By Sports Desk February 07, 2021

Bayern Munich's preparations for their Club World Cup campaign may not have been ideal but head coach Hansi Flick will not use a seven-hour travel delay as an excuse against Al Ahly. 

Bayern boarded a plane for Doha immediately after Friday's 1-0 victory over Hertha Berlin but did not depart until the following morning after their clearance for take-off was denied. 

The European champions eventually left for the Middle East on Saturday morning and were unable to train when arriving at their destination. 

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge hit out at the local authorities in Berlin for "mucking about" ahead of Monday's semi-final against Al Ahly. 

However, Flick's squad were able to train on the eve of the game and the Bayern boss is ready for the showdown with the reigning CAF Champions League holders. 

"It's not the best preparation, without question," he said at a news conference on Sunday. "Ultimately, the decisive factor is we arrived safely and won't allow any excuses.  

"Of course, it would have been better if we could have arrived sooner. But this morning we did what was planned for yesterday.  

"This afternoon we will have the final training session and will prepare the team for tomorrow's game.

"We will go through the same process as every game. We have an analysis department that prepares information on each opponent for us. 

"The coaches then do the final preparations. We know that they are very offensive with their full-backs and have an impressive coach, whose approach I like very much." 

Bayern are seeking to win the Club World Cup for a second time, having last prevailed in 2013 when beating Raja Casablanca in the final. 

They secured a domestic treble last season and lifted the DFL-Supercup and UEFA Super Cup earlier in this campaign, but Flick insists his players are still hungry to win more trophies. 

"In football, you set goals and then you move on," he said. "We have won five titles and yet you can tell that the team and the coaching team want to take the next step.  

"Success is a process, everyone is involved. We have a very good mentality in the team. They handled the journey very professionally and want to tackle the next goal. 

"We really wanted to play the tournament and it is also our goal to win this tournament. We know that it is associated with a certain burden.  

"But we want to be motivated and it is a big goal to crown the outstanding season with the sixth title. Our goal is to become the best team in the world. 

"The journey yesterday is a thing of the past, we were ready in time. It wasn't nice, but we are looking ahead.  

"The team should use all their strength today so that we can win the semi-final tomorrow move into the final." 

Bayern made the trip to Doha without midfield pair Leon Goretzka and Javi Martinez, who both recently tested positive for coronavirus. 

Opponents Al Ahly knocked out Al Duhail to advance to the semi-finals.

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