Vogts emerges as top winner as Bayern's problems add up

Sonntag, 19. November 2000 / 17:44 Uhr
aktualisiert: 18:59 Uhr

Hamburg - Bayer Leverkusen coach Berti Vogts emerged this weekend as the biggest winner of the German Bundesliga while Bayern Munich's problems are slowly reaching crisis proportions.

Former German national coach Vogts led his troops to a 3-1 victory at SV Hamburg in his Bundesliga coaching debut to push Leverkusen to the top the table, one point clear of Schalke 04 and Hertha BSC Berlin. "The lead on the table is a momentary joy, but I am very, very satisfied how this team presented itself in Hamburg," Vogts said.

"There is a lot of character and excellent class on this roster. It is great to be allowed to take over such a team," added Vogts, who took over after Rudi Voeller stepped down last week to concentrate on coaching duties of the German national team.

"It was a great moment for Berti," said Voeller, who won four matches as Leverkusen manager after Christoph Daum stepped down last month following a positive drugs test. "It was important for us to have a good performance and bring a certain calm to the whole situation," said Voeller, who is still Leverkusen's sports director.

Vogts, who stepped down as national coach 26 months ago, said he was not nervous about his debut.

"If you have eight years experience as national trainer, and are nervous, you lose your advantage on the pitch. But it certainly was something special," Vogts added. The 53-year-old was pleased with his team's performance, but said he expects more of last season's Bundesliga runners-up.

"There were a lot of things which I didn't like. We have almost only international players and you should be able to demand more from such a team," said Vogts, who thanked Daum and Voeller for handing over to him such a talented club.

Bayern Munich coach Ottmar Hitzfeld, on the other hand, is looking to build up his club's confidence after the Bavarians lost 2-1 at home to Eintracht Frankfurt. The loss was the first at home against Frankfurt in nearly 24 years and gave Bayern five losses this season - equalling their total from last season.

"It would be a crisis if we played desolate, but that wasn't the case. The range of leaders in the Bundesliga has become wider, but we still have a chance to become champions," Hitzfeld said.

The coach held a 45-minute discussion with his team Sunday to find out how they felt after falling behind in the 63rd minute against Frankfurt.

"It's important for us to see who is self-confident enough to play on Wednesday (against Olympique Lyon in the Champions League," said Hitzfeld, who believes his team's problems are just "mental ones".

"We won't know if we find ourselves in a crisis until after Wednesday's game in the Champions League," Bayern Vice President Karl-Heinz Rummingge said.

Vogts also has the chance to prove himself on the international club level on Thursday when Leverkusen take on AEK Athens in third round of the UEFA Cup, an opportunity from which he hopes to hopes to emerge as winner. dpa dh jp