Mark van Bommel can feel the pressure rising as FC Bayern München prepare to face FC Girondins de Bordeaux: "If we draw, people in Munich are always upset and if we lose, well don't ask."
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Mark van Bommel can feel the pressure rising as FC Bayern München prepare to host FC Girondins de Bordeaux, saying: "If we draw, people in Munich are always upset and if we lose, don't ask."
A 2-1 loss to Bordeaux in France on Matchday 3 has left Bayern in third place in Group A, and anything other than a win on Tuesday could open the gap between the Bavarians and the top two. Captain Van Bommel knows the fans demand a lot of a team now chasing Bordeaux and Juventus in the section, especially after a summer spending spree that brought in Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, Mario Gómez and Ivica Olić. "That's the way it is in Munich, the press and fans always expect us to win," said the 32-year-old. "If we draw, people are always upset and if we lose ... don't ask. It is just unacceptable for the supporters."
Sidelined between early August and mid-October, the midfielder is back to full fitness and ready to anchor Louis van Gaal's men against the French champions. Bayern are sixth in the German table after eleven games and have yet to match the high expectations of their fans. Van Bommel, though, is calm about the situation, saying: "The French press in particular are trying to put pressure on, but that is normal. We are talking about the Champions League and they are right – this is a game we have to win, otherwise it will become very difficult to qualify."
Bayern last won the UEFA Champions League in 2000/01, and while Van Bommel triumphed in 2005/06 with FC Barcelona, he is no less keen to return Germany's most successful club to the European pinnacle. Before they can consider a march on Madrid for the final, however, Bayern must get the better of the group leaders. "I am confident," said the Dutchman. "We scored in Bordeaux, but need to play with more intelligence, concede fewer fouls and definitely no more penalties. Bordeaux were not that strong against us. We are not nervous, but of course we know we have to win this game."