Berlin (AFP) – Having endured a few sleepless nights following the Champions League defeat last week in Madrid, Franck Ribery has issued his Bayern Munich team-mates with a wake-up call.
The French veteran sat out Saturday’s lacklustre 1-1 draw at home to Cologne in Germany’s top flight with tiredness after problems sleeping following last Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat at Atletico Madrid.
It was Bayern’s fourth straight away defeat to Spanish clubs and the Bavarian champions were then annoyed to drop their first Bundesliga points of the season in throwing away a 1-0 lead against Cologne.
Despite their slight dip Bayern still hold a three-point gap at the top of the German league with 12 of their squad now on international duty.
But Ribery says they must buck their ideas up after the international break for their league game at Eintracht Frankfurt on October 15 and next Champions League match at home to PSV Eindhoven four days later.
“We have to play like a team and forget about the two bad results,” Ribery told the German daily Bild.
“We are a top team with a really good squad. We have to work together again, fight for each other and we can do that well together.”
Germany captain Manuel Neuer has already said Bayern were punished for dropping their tempo against Cologne in their third straight below-par performance.
Having previously been warned by senior Bayern figures about his pre-season criticism of ex-coach Pep Guardiola, Ribery was full of praise for boss Carlo Ancelotti.
“Carlo is simply a really good bloke,” added Ribery. “He often comes up to me, asks how things are going and he does it with intelligence.
“He talks a lot with us, rotates a lot and gives every player chances and lots of (playing) minutes.”
The final point is important for injury-prone wingers Ribery, 33, and Arjen Robben, 32, both of whom are out of contract at the end of the season.
“They have the experience and have been playing for years at the top level,” Bayern captain Philipp Lahm told broadcaster Sport1 of the veteran duo.
“I would definitely be pleased if they both played for an extra year with us. They both have winner’s mentalities.”