Bundesliga: I’m not sure of my team’s form – Guardiola
Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola admits he is unsure of his team’s form ahead of Friday’s Bundesliga match at Hamburg in the wake of their shock defeat at Karlsruhe.
Bayern lost 2-1 at second division Karlsruhe last Saturday in their final warm-up before facing Hamburg away in the first German league match of 2016.
And Guardiola admits it will take him a few matches to discover just how good Bayern are following the four-week winter break.
“I don’t know at which level my team is playing at right now, we will need three or four games before I know that,” he said in Thursday’s press conference.
“I probably won’t even know after the game in Hamburg.”
Having announced he will leave Bayern in June, Guardiola’s team is currently eight points clear in the Bundesliga table and bidding to become the first club to win the German league title four years in a row.
Guardiola has said he wants to coach in England’s Premier League next season.
He knows his three-year tenure at Bayern will be judged on whether he can repeat the 2013 treble of Champions League, German Cup and Bundesliga titles, achieved by his predecessor Jupp Heynckes.
Guardiola, 45, has won five titles so far with the German giants, but is under pressure to win the Champions League with his side having exited the tournament at the semi-final stage for the last two seasons.
“I can live with that. Perhaps we will win the Champions League,” he said.
“Jupp Heynckes and Ottmar Hitzfeld (who coached Bayern to the 2001 Champions League title), will always be more important to the club than me.
“They are German and were here longer than me.
“I know the pressure from my time at Barcelona, so I can live with it.”
Bayern will need no reminding of their 4-1 drubbing at the hands of last season’s runners-up Wolfsburg at exactly the same stage of last season.
Having last beaten the Bavarian giants in September 2009, mid-table Hamburg are expected to take the game to Bayern, as they did in their shock 3-1 home win over Borussia Dortmund last November.
“I’m sure they will attack, just as they did against Dortmund,” said Guardiola.
Bayern will be at near full strength with only World Cup winner Mario Goetze, wingers Franck Ribery, defenders Medhi Benatia and Rafinha all “needing more time” to get over injuries.