Bayern Munich goalkeeper Sven Ulreich says the input of head coach Jupp Heynckes has been key to his impressive form in the absence of first-choice stopper Manuel Neuer.

With a recurring metatarsal injury restricting Neuer to just three top-flight outings all season, Ulreich has racked up 40 appearances in all competitions so far this term, underpinning the recently crowned Bundesliga champions' tilt at treble glory.

Ulreich (r.) has proved himself a more-than-capable deputy to Manuel Neuer (l.), who is expected to return to action in the coming weeks. © imago / Bernd Mueller

"I started playing well when Jupp Heynckes came in," Ulreich told kicker magazine, Heynckes having stepped in on an interim basis at the start of October following Carlo Ancelotti's dismissal.

"I got his backing straight away, and that's something that I didn't feel I had before.

"Confidence is everything for sportsmen. It makes all the difference when you feel the trust of the coach and those in charge, even for goalkeepers.

"It was so important for me that Jupp showed his faith in me and voiced it."

Watch: Ulreich saved a penalty against former club Stuttgart on Matchday 17

Ulreich has been playing so well this term, there have even been calls for the former VfB Stuttgart custodian to be included in Joachim Löw's Germany squad for the defence of their FIFA World Cup title in Russia this summer.

A former Under-16, U-19 and U-21 international, the 29-year-old is still awaiting his first senior call-up in the colours of the world champions.

"Of course, there's nothing bigger than a World Cup," Ulreich admitted. "It's a goal of mine, but I won't be disappointed if it doesn't happen."

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