After edging Borussia Dortmund 5-4 on penalties after a 2-2 draw to lift the Supercup at the Signal Iduna Park on Saturday, interim Bayern Munich captain Thomas Müller was in no mood to see the club rest on its laurels.
bundesliga.com caught up with the 27-year-old forward after the match…
Question: Thomas Müller, Bayern celebrated that Supercup victory vociferously. It spilled into the dressing room…
Thomas Müller: Well, we had a lot of pressure. We wanted to win this title. And, of course, it's always something special to play in Dortmund in a big match and it’s the first title of the season. For us, the Supercup victory is doubly important after our run of defeats in pre-season.
Watch: Bayern lift the Supercup
Question: The trophy is reason to celebrate. Was this also true for your performance as a team?
Müller: The game wasn’t perfect. Personally I didn’t love how we played in the second half. However, the win was familiar. In the first half we really showed what we can do. We were also a little unlucky – we could have taken the lead before the break.
Question: Why didn't Bayern play so well in the second half?
Müller: We were unable to free ourselves from Dortmund’s pressure. We had to pass back to the goalkeeper [Sven Ulreich] too many times and therefore played a lot of long balls forward. Dortmund press very hard, which is unsurprising under their new coach [Peter Bosz]. We were unable to play one-twos in midfield. However, once you get past their first line of pressing there is space. You could see that in the first half. Once you get behind that line the door is open. We struggled to do this in the second half, though.
Question: Was that a question of physical fitness?
Müller: Perhaps that was a factor for one or two players. Some of the guys only just got back to training. But the main problem was getting stuck in a long-ball game. We sent it forward and it came back, again and again. Perhaps we lacked a bit of confidence.
Question: Was it a good thing to have a competitive match after all the friendlies?
Müller: It was good to win again! It was a good evening for us, no question. Luck always plays a part in penalty shoot-outs, but Ulle [Ulreich] made two great saves. This was very important.
Question: Is this Supercup win also a message from Bayern to Borussia Dortmund, one of your strongest challengers in the league?
Müller: We don't need to make statements. It’s our obligation to win the title. We will make sure we’re ready for every matchday. What other clubs do is up to them.
Question: Some had hoped that Bayern might not be so dominant this season…
Müller: After the Telekom Cup we were being anointed as Bundesliga champions already. Every other Bundesliga club was ready to fall at our knees. Then after the Audi Cup it was completely the opposite. Now we’ve won the Supercup we’re back to being likely champions? Honestly, we’re well used to all this.
Question: How have you found new sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic? He was on the bench at the Supercup and seems to have adjusted to his position quickly…
Müller: I guess every sports director or manager, who is so close to the touchline, is ready for the role! He will surely implement some ideas if he thinks it helps the team and brings us forward. It’s always good to have someone who can take a look at things off the pitch as well. He’ll look at the structure of the whole club in detail. He’s had peace to do his job in his first few days.
Dietmar Nolte reporting from Dortmund