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Carlo Ancelotti: It's easy to follow in Guardiola's footsteps


EXCLUSIVE

Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti says it has proven to be easy to follow in Pep Guardiola's footsteps at the Allianz Arena.

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Manchester City boss Guardiola won three consecutive Bundesliga titles with Bayern before departing at the end of the 2015-16 summer, with Ancelotti hired as his successor having been out of the game for a year following his sacking by Real Madrid.

The Bavarians have enjoyed a commendable start to life under Ancelotti, though a Champions League defeat to Atletico Madrid and draw with Koln in the Bundesliga immediately before the current international break saw some questions asked of the 57-year-old.

But the former Chelsea coach insists he has had to change very little after Guardiola's successful tenure with the German champions.

"It's easy because the team has a lot of football knowledge, and a fantastic quality," he told Goal when asked about the transition. "I think they build this quality up with Guardiola. I found the team was in a really, really good shape, good condition and with great knowledge.

"The foundations were really good so I never wanted to change them. Every coach has his own idea of football so I tried to implement my idea without having a revolution. I know what the team is doing very well because they learned a lot in the last three years. I try to do something new. Sometimes when you bring new ideas the players become more focused, they gain concentration."

Bayern's early performances under Ancelotti have seen some suggest his players are being given more freedom in their roles when compared with Guardiola's reign. But the Italian says he is instilling organization into his side despite the minor differences in his style to his predecessor.

"More freedom? No. The players have the plan for the game — there are tactics and organization," he said. "I want to put a team on the pitch, not eleven players. And if you want to put a team there are some rules the players have to follow.

"You have to give more space to the creativity of the players, space for their talent to shine through. But there are still rules and the players are not totally free."