FC Bayern München and their keeper Manuel Neuer have reached the semi-finals of the DFB-Pokal for the eleventh successive season. The Germany keeper managed it personally twice with Schalke and now nine times in a row with the record cup winners. The 33-year-old spoke with dfb.de about the Pokal win over his former club and his ambitions with FC Bayern.
DFB.de: Manuel Neuer, would you describe last night’s win as a hard-earned victory?
Manuel Neuer: We dominated the game and enjoyed over 80% of possession. We were better in all departments and didn’t let them have many chances. Schalke tried to sit back and catch us out on the break. A 1-0 lead is always dangerous, especially against Schalke, as they could have easily created something on the break through players like Kutucu, Raman or Gregoritsch. I think we defended well though. We needed to get that second goal, but overall it was a deserved win for us. We’re pleased to be in the semi-finals now.
DFB.de: Your coach Hansi Flick was forced into several changes from the 6-0 win at Hoffenheim. Did that affect the team’s performance in any way?
Neuer: Nope. It was a different game to the one in Hoffenheim. TSG looked to play it out from the back and didn’t just play long balls from the start. Hoffenheim are a better footballing side than Schalke, so we had to approach the match differently. The coach put Thomas Müller up front for Joshua Zirkzee and we had to replace Jerome Boateng in defence due to his illness.
DFB.de: How do you think Joshua Kimmich did at centre half?
Neuer: He’s played there fairly often. He played well again and was even named Man of the Match.
DFB.de: Things were a lot better in the stands. Do you have an appeal for the fans ahead of Sunday’s game against Augsburg?
Neuer: No, I won’t be calling for anything. I think the rules are clear enough. We dealt with everything on the last matchday and took a stand.
DFB.de: FC Bayern are in great form in all competitions right now. Why are you so consistently strong at the moment?
Neuer: We have the right attitude and are fully focused. We also know how quickly things can change – last season had a number of highs and lows. We have been chasing top spot before in the table. You simply have to take every game seriously. We said to ourselves a few weeks ago that we’ve basically just got finals ahead of us now. We’re top now and can’t slip up.
DFB.de: Is the treble possible?
Neuer: There are several teams who could win the treble.
DFB.de: Do you think Bayern can win it?
Neuer: I’m confident in ourselves, but I won’t promise anything, because pride comes before a fall. We’ve got a good chance though.