Mönchengladbach - FC Bayern Munich are warming up for next Saturday's at the four-team Telekom Cup, where they take on hosts Borussia Mönchengladbach in the final this evening.
In the wake of their 4-0 semi-final dismantling of Hamburger SV in the 60-minute format mini-tournament, skipper spoke with bundesliga.com about how the treble-winners' preparations have been going so far, the prospects for the season ahead and the "Guardiola effect."
bundesliga.com: Philipp Lahm, 4-0 against Hamburg in the Telekom Cup semi-final. How would you rate FC Bayern's performance?
Philipp Lahm: We can be very satisfied with it, although we're still at an early stage of the pre-season preparations. Quite a few things are working well already. We've been together for four weeks, and we've beaten Hamburg 4-0 in an hour-long game. That's all fine as far as it goes, but we know we can improve further. There's a lot of work still ahead.
bundesliga.com: In which areas in particular?
Lahm: In every area. There's always room for improvement. The arrival of a new coach calls for a bit of an adjustment as well. We're working on all that just now.
bundesliga.com: What's your take on the commotion surrounding new head coach Pep Guardiola over the past few weeks - is it all starting to abate slightly?
Lahm: It was nothing out of the ordinary for us and I should point out that it didn't affect the players. There's always a lot going on at FC Bayern. We're having another training session at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday, where the whole squad's going to be introduced. It's all part and parcel of the job.
bundesliga.com: What kind of an early impression has Pep Guardiola made?
Lahm: Very pleasant. He's a very agreeable person, and coach. He spends a lot of time talking with the players, which is always good.
bundesliga.com: Having won the treble last season, Bayern go into the upcoming campaign as the hunted rather than the hunters, in contrast to last time around...
Lahm: We're basically always being hunted, but last season we weren't the champions so that role fell to Borussia Dortmund. Now we're the ones to be beaten, at home and above all in Europe as well. We're the Champions League holders. Everybody will be out to knock us off our perch, in every competition.
bundesliga.com: How are you going to approach the role?
Lahm: The same as every year. We've been the favourites far more often than not in the past as well.
bundesliga.com: FC Bayern are up against hosts Borussia Mönchengladbach in the Telekom Cup final. You beat them 4-3 here on the final matchday of last season - what kind of a game do you expect this time?
Lahm: We'll have to wait and see. Obviously, we'll be aiming to avoid conceding three goals again, for starters. We want to win but if we don't, so be it. The Supercup next weekend and the start of the season proper are more important.
Interview: Tobias Gonscherowski