Benjamin Pavard and Thomas Müller have hailed the impact of Hansi Flick after Bayern Munich recorded their third straight win without conceding under their interim coach with a comprehensive 4-0 victory at Fortuna Düsseldorf.
Pavard opened the scoring and Müller chimed in with a league-leading seventh assist of the season as Bayern followed up respective 2-0 and 4-0 wins over Olympiacos in the UEFA Champions League and Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund in fine style.
"We have a very good understanding with the coach," Pavard told bundesliga.com after scoring his third Bundesliga goal since joining Bayern from relegated VfB Stuttgart over the summer. "It fits well and we are getting results on the pitch. Everyone is convinced by his vision. Now we have seven games left that we want to win with the coach."
Watch: Benjamin Pavard on life under Hansi Flick
Müller echoed his FIFA World Cup-winning teammate’s post-match assessment. "The coach puts forward a plan that we stick to," he explained. "As a result, we have some stability on the pitch because we know what the players around us are doing. We took the momentum from [the Olympiacos and Dortmund] games with us and despite a different starting line-up we still had the same spirit and hunger for the ball. That’s what pleases me."
Like Pavard and Müller, Flick says he witnessed plenty of positives in the win over Fortuna - but he wouldn’t be at the Bayern helm if he couldn’t see room for improvement. "We set out to build on the Dortmund game,” admitted the 54-year-old. "I was impressed with the first half, we put the opposition under real pressure. In the second half, we could have done a lot better. We gave the ball away too much and too easily. We have to work on that in the coming weeks."
Watch: Thomas Müller praises Hansi Flick's tactical acumen
Bayern’s second successive Bundesliga win coupled with leaders Borussia Mönchengladbach’s 2-0 defeat to Union Berlin has cut the deficit to the top to just one point. Bayern travel to Serbia to face Red Star Belgrade in midweek, albeit with their place in the Champions League knockout rounds already in the bag. After that, they host Bayer Leverkusen, before taking on Gladbach away. Meetings with Tottenham Hotspur (Champions League, h), Werder Bremen (h), Freiburg (a) and Wolfsburg (h) complete the record champions’ schedule before the Bundesliga’s customary winter break kicks in.
"We have to take each game as it comes, but I’m in good spirits," Flick continued. 'To work with a team like this, have the backing to do so and to have fun doing it - that’s all very important. It’s good that the club have given themselves the time until Christmas to think things over. It’s important that I don’t give it much thought. I’m happy the results are going well, and am simply enjoying the here and now. I just need to continue as I’ve started."
Prior to the Fortuna game, Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge confirmed Flick will remain in charge until "at least' Christmas. If he keeps going like this, however, the Bavarian giants would surely be mad to ask Santa for a new coach this yuletide.
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