Guardiola: Fixture congestion taking its toll

20 September 2014 20:09

Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola has hinted European exploits may have taken their toll on his side after Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Hamburg.

A frustrating afternoon saw a much-changed Bayern side struggle to find any meaningful attacking fluidity against Hamburg, who will have delighted new boss Josef Zinnbauer with an impressive rearguard display.

However, Guardiola was left to bemoan an impotent performance from his side, with the former Barcelona boss particularly disappointed by a slow start exhibited by his team, who were rocked by an injury to star winger Arjen Robben during the pre-match warm-up.

Yet Guardiola suggested that it was the nature of the fixture list that conspired most against his team at the Imtech Arena, with Bayern coming into the game on the back off a hard-fought 1-0 win over Manchester City in midweek.

He told the club’s official website: “It was not easy to come into this game on the back of a Champions League match against Manchester City. In the second half it was a bit better, but unfortunately we did not take our chances.”

However, the Spaniard insisted his side were capable of rising to the challenge of firing on all fronts and hitting top form once again.

“We now have to keep working until December. It is a tough time ahead,” he added.

One of Bayern’s best chances of the game fell to Philipp Lahm midway through the second half, and he echoed the frustration expressed by his boss after the game.

He told reporters: “We can’t really be happy when we only get a draw. In the second period, we definitely had the chances to win the game.

“In the first half, though, we weren’t quite at our best. We’ll focus on Tuesday now.”

That game on Tuesday will see the champions travel to newly promoted Paderborn, who are the surprise leaders in the Bundesliga, thanks to a 2-0 win over Hannover on Saturday.