Heynckes calls on Bayern players to 'respond' after trophyless season

The 67-year-old coach is confident that his squad will be able to put the disappointment of last season behind them, while he insisted that he wants to see out his contract
Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes has urged his players to pick themselves up after finishing second best in three competitions in the 2011-12 season.

The Bavarian giants lost the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal titles to Borussia Dortmund, and succumbed to Chelsea in the Champions League final via penalties on home soil.

As Bayern prepare for the new club campaign, Heynckes called on his players to respond, while recounting a period when he had to bounce back from adversity himself.

"The players need to recover and unwind," he told Kicker. "When we meet up, I will also work on the players psychologically.

"At the 1974 World Cup I was a regular, but then I could not play in the final because of an injury. That was a huge disappointment and I was depressed. But then I had my best season. I think our players will respond similarly."

Christian Nerlinger was sacked as Bayern's sporting director earlier in the week as the club look to put an end to their frustrating past two seasons, but Heynckes says that the team should be held responsible for the title drought at the Allianz Arena.

"That was the board's decision," he affirmed. "I spent a year with Christian Nerlinger in confidence.

"He is very shy, and his statements are balanced. He is not one to polarise situations, and therefore, every now and then, normal fans do not like him.

"The fact that we did not achieve our goals lies first and foremost with the team, and then it goes to the general manager."

Bayern have added to their attacking options in the summer with the signings of Mario Mandzukic and Claudio Pizarro, but Heynckes insisted he has not lost faith in Mario Gomez.

"We have strengthened the squad substantially," the 67-year-old said. "I have always had faith in Gomez and that remains, but if we had had Mandzukic and Pizarro in the Champions League final, then we might have been able to win it."

Heynckes' future at Bayern has also been the target of intense speculation in recent weeks, with CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge revealing that the coach's position will be reviewed at the end of the year.

"It was speculated that I would step down, but before that it was said that I would extend my contract," he explained.

"The board and I have a very open relationship and that is why I am informed about all things. I think you have to be prepared for all eventualities.

"I want to fulfill my contract. That is what I have always done when no big issues arose."