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'This was a very difficult year for me, so four titles is good'

May 19, 2014 08:48 IST

'This was a very difficult year for me, so four titles is good'

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Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola took his season title tally to four when his team clinched the German Cup on Saturday with a win over Borussia Dortmund to silence critics and complete a domestic double in the Spaniard's first season in charge.

Former Barcelona coach Guardiola had a tough act to follow when he took over this season following Bayern's treble-winning campaign under former coach Jupp Heynckes.

"This was a very difficult year for me, my first in Germany. So four titles is good," he said after their 2-0 Cup win over Dortmund.

Guardiola quickly led Bayern to the UEFA Super Cup and the club World Cup title when he took over before racing to the quickest ever Bundesliga title with seven games to spare.

"When a team wins the league title then it is already a good season," Guardiola told reporters. "But we are happy to have achieved this season. The German Cup was a big title."

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Image: Bayern Munich's coach Pep Guardiola (right) and sports director Matthias Sammer pose with the German DFB Cup
Photographs: REUTERS/Alexander Hassenstein/Pool

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'The criticism for the game against Real was justified'

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The Bavarians broke record after record under Guardiola before their air of invincibility and their unbeaten streak in the league, that stretched for over a year and a half, burst after securing the league title.

They lost several Bundesliga games including a 3-0 home demolition by Dortmund and were eliminated from the Champions League by Real Madrid in the semi-finals with a 5-0 aggregate loss that included a stunning 4-0 home defeat.

The 43-year-old, who took a year out after winning 14 out of 19 possible titles in four seasons at Barca, quickly moved into the spotlight as their form nose-dived in March after a near flawless campaign in all competitions up to that point.

"It was justified criticism," Guardiola admitted. "It was things I did that I should not have done. The criticism for the game against Real was also justified but it is part of the work I do."

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Image: Bayern Munich's coach Pep Guardiola is carried by Franck Ribery as they celebrate winning their German Cup
Photographs: REUTERS/Ina Fassbender

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'There is much work left to do'

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He had been criticised for sticking to a possession game throughout the season that served them well until it yielded zero goals against Real over two legs.

He was also accused of writing off the league matches after winning it and taking motivation out of the players.

This was further enhanced by his heavy rotation, with Bayern stalwarts, including Thomas Mueller, unhappy about their playing time.

A season-ending win for Bayern over Dortmund, however, quickly set the record straight again but Guardiola said more was to come in the next season.

"We have to keep working. There is much work left to do," said the soft-spoken coach. "I still have not managed to form the team according to my vision. It is after all my first year."

"My German is not that good yet and to succeed Jupp Heynckes after his success was a challenge but four titles are not bad."


Image: Bayern Munich's Claudio Pizarro (right) showers with beer coach Pep Guardiola after their German Cup
Photographs: REUTERS/Ina Fassbender

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