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Jerome Boateng insists Bayern Munich’s defense needs to improve

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The center back knows Bayern still have a lot to work on.

Borussia Moenchengladbach v Bayern Muenchen - Bundesliga Photo by Christof Koepsel/Getty Images For MAN

Despite the incredible run of form Bayern Munich have been in since Jupp Heynckes took charge of the club, center-back Jerome Boateng has said that there’s still plenty of room for improvement for the defending Bundesliga champs.

Despite Bayern’s 20-point lead over second-placed Schalke, their virtually certain advancement to the Champions League quarterfinals, and their status as favorites to beat Bayer Leverkusen in semi-finals of the DFB-Pokal, Boateng feels that there’s quite a lot his side can improve upon when speaking with Welt (via tz).

In particular, Boateng sees deficits in Bayern’s defense. In particular, he feels as if Bayern is vulnerable,

especially during transitions from offense to defense. I think we are allowing too many chances. Sometimes we too easily lose the ball. [Bayern] were not present enough for some phases in games. We can be more effective.

Even though Bayern could technically clinch the title next weekend in Leipzig, Boateng knows his side has to remain focused and not let complacency creep in. The caliber of their opponents in the coming weeks, Boateng feels, will help his side firing on all cylinders heading into the last two months of the campaign:

We need to maintain our focus despite our lead in the league. In the coming weeks, we play Leipzig and Dortmund in the Bundesliga, as well as Leverkusen in the DFB Pokal--strong opponents. That helps us. We don’t win any games in the Bundesliga like a walk in the park, although it’s sometimes depicted that way publicly.

Bearing the improvements that he thinks Bayern need to work on, Boateng still feels that they’re capable of winning the Champions League if a few things go their way. The solidarity in the squad, he feels, gives them the necessary edge in the competition, and is a big part of why they’re 5-0 up on aggregate over Besiktas:

When we play as a team, it’s very hard to beat us. Our solidarity is our strength. We have world-class players, but not the one superstar everything depends on. We have a chance [to make the final], but so much goes into it: your form that day, luck, referee decisions.

As it stands, in the Champions League quarter-finals, Bayern could face Liverpool, Juventus, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Roma/Shakhtar Donetsk, Sevilla/Manchester United, or Barcelona/Chelsea—all opponents Bayern are capable of beating on their day.

By the time that round takes place, Bayern will all but surely have been crowned Bundesliga Champions, so Jupp Heynckes will have the luxury of being able to rotate his squads quite heavily and avoid picking up injuries that have plagued the squad yet again this season.