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Bayern München vs TSG Hoffenheim: Press Conference Roundup

We listen in on and pick out the important stuff from Pep Guardiola's press conference before every game, be it Bundesliga, DFB Pokal, or UEFA Champions League.

Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

After taking a two week break for international team games, Bayern Munich is preparing to host TSG Hoffenheim 1899 on Saturday. Pep Guardiola and media director Markus Hörwick sat down for the customary press conference with the sports media representatives.

FC Bayern Press Conference, November 21st, 2014

Believe it or not, they may have mentioned Philip Lahm's injury and the impact on the team once or twice.

Here are the questions and answers (my interjections in italics):

On the returning national team players' health- (Manuel Neuer and Jerome Boateng had left the national team between games with injuries, and Thomas Müller had to be taken out early in the first half of the Spain game.) Everyone is healthy. They had minor problems, got treatment, and had good practices. Thomas wasn't able to go yesterday, but he practiced today. Everybody is healthy.

On the impact of Philipp Lahm's injury, and what needs to be changed to compensate for his absence - People know my opinion on Lahm.  It's unfortunate, just like it is with the other players that are out for a while.  The surgery went well, and I hope he can be back in 3 months.  But, he is the most important player for me in my time at Bayern, he helped me a lot from the very beginning. Of course, it's hard for us, but we have to move on.

On what kind of team Hoffenheim is, and how hard the game will be - Outstanding forwards, with Volland and Firmino.  Last season we tied 3-3, they did a very good job with an excellent pressing, we had a lot of problems with our buildup play. We need to adjust to how they play, we have to figure them out right away. They are 5th in the league, they've done a very good job. Christmas is around the corner, we have 6 more BL games and 2 CL games, this is an important stretch (aren't they all?).

On whether Bastian Schweinsteiger will play - I don't know. He is on the roster, but I don't  know if he will start or if he will come in later. It's good news that he is back. One more player for us, we have some injury problems in the midfield, with David and Philipp out, we only have Gianluca Gaudino, Pierre Emile Hojbjerg, Sebastian Rode, Xabi Alonso, plus, now Basti. Basti has been injured for a long time, but he is fit, and he trained well.

On whether Pep told Schweinsteiger he is on the roster - No, you're the first to know. We only have 18 players, so he had an idea.

On Sebastian Rode's and Pierre Emile Hojbjerg's big chance to play - Every player has a chance with me.  We have 7 forwards, we can play a system with more forwards, or with less.  Rode trains well, he is the best professional I've met (Pep loves to speak in extremes), Pierre is a young player with passion, of course they can play.  Rode was the captain in Frankfurt, he has a lot of experience in the BL, so I have no problem playing him.

On whether Pep has talked to Hojbjerg about wanting to leave - (Hojbjerg was quoted in the media as saying that he needed to move on, if he wanted playing time) Of course, he wants to play more, same with Shaqiri and Rode.  I understand that, they all want to play every game, 90 minutes, I get it.  They have to train every day, and if I play them, they have to play as well as they can.

On whether Pep wants to keep Hojbjerg - Until Christmas, everyone has to work hard, because we're missing 8 important players.  After that, if they have a problem, they can come talk to me, Matthias Sammer, Rummenigge or others.  My advice is, if they don't want to be here, if they want playing time, and don't want to fight for their spots, they need to find another club. Footballing careers are short. I want to have the players that want to stay at Bayern Munich. That's the most important thing for me. If they want to stay, I will help them. I will support them, but if they don't want to be here, they need to go (this answer sounds harsh, but it was actually delivered without any apparent anger or irritation).

On what would happen if the young guys aren't playing well, and the fans demand Schweinsteiger - The fans want to see their favorite players, that's fine.  But I'm the coach, if I feel a player needs to play, he will.  I have to make the decisions that are best for the team.  But, the most important part is that Basti is back, and he can help us with his experience and reputation.

On whether Schweinsteiger has a higher standing than even Franck Ribery or Arjen Robben -We all know, when everyone is fit, I will have problems if some players don't play.  We have 7 big-name  forwards, lots of big-name midfielders.  I don't have a solution, they have to accept that they need to fight for playing time.  If they help me, they will play.  We have a lot of games, I can rotate the lineup.  But if players only think about themselves, I don't know what would happen.  But, up until now, they have all been good about it, they've helped me, so I don't have a problem with the situation.

On who will replace Lahm's leadership, take on more responsibility - In an ideal situation for a coach, everybody is fit and healthy, but that's not possible right now.  When players have games every 3 days, and national team duty, it's normal that there will be injuries.  Only two of our players have muscular injuries, Reina and Pizarro, the rest are more traumatic, you can't control that.  Sure, Philipp isn't available, but there's nothing we can do, we have to keep going without him.  This club has assembled a great roster, so we have no excuses.  It's unfortunate for Lahm, for me, for the team, for the club, but we have to find a solution.

On plans for getting more players in the winter transfer window - No, no new players.  The injured players will be back, Lahm, Martinez, Thiago, Badstuber, no new players (he was very adamant on this point).

On what will change in the team without Lahm - The system will stay the same. The playing style depends on the quality of the players, when you play Lahm or Rode in the middle, their qualities are different.  I know the qualities of the players, I have to adapt my ideas to the players.  Last season was tougher, because I didn't know the players that well, but now I know them much better.  Of course, Philipp is special, he can be all over the field.

Disclaimer - Due to the nature of having a coach whose native language is not German, the translation of the quotes is not exactly word for word, but includes some interpretation on the part of the author of this article, in order to more accurately portray what the coach is intending to say. There is some necessary guesswork involved.

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