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Apr 30, 2013

Heynckes: Final loss made us stronger

Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes believes defeat in last year's Champions League final has provided the perfect motivation for his side to win the trophy this season.

• Heynckes: We'll attack Barca
• Schaaf: Cautious optimism

The penalty shootout loss to Chelsea was made all the more galling as it occurred at Bayern's own Allianz Arena, but since being denied a dream triumph, the Bavarians have come back even stronger.

Heynckes has led his team to the earliest ever Bundesliga title victory and Bayern take a 4-0 lead to Barcelona as they look to reach a third Champions League final in four years.

And the veteran German feels that the heartbreak of last May has provided the spur for Bayern to step up a level.

"When you experience a final like we did against Chelsea, then you understand all the consequences," Heynckes said at the pre-match press conference ahead of the semi-final second leg against Barca.

"Some clubs give up, but everyone at Bayern reacted in a very positive way. We made changes, signed good players, modified some things and strengthened the team spirit."

Heynckes urged his team to not wane at Camp Nou on Wednesday night, saying: "We can't think too much about the first leg result. After the match we can evaluate things, but I cannot say which team is the better one. Barcelona have played at such a high level for so many years. Bayern want to prove the match in Munich wasn't a one-off.

"I have said that in Munich and I will say it again. Those are two top clubs meeting at eye-level. Barcelona remain one of the best teams in the world for me. And we have to prepare accordingly.

"We should not be casual about this game. My team will play like in Munich, and attack courageously. We will alter our style of play. One thing is for sure: We are not a team that only defends. We can play creatively up front. That's what we want to try."

With six players only one yellow card away from being suspended should Bayern reach the final at Wembley, Heynckes said the best way to avoid being booked was to "not protest and not mess with the referee".

With Barcelona needing to score early to get into a position to make the miracle happen, Heynckes claimed even an early 2-0 for Barcelona would not change things.

"One thing is very important. You should not think about any negative scenarios before. We have got a clear idea for the game. My players will know about that.

"I am positive thinking person. I have got confidence in my team. I know they will give it their all at the Nou Camp. We have the great motivation to reach the final.

With the prospect of an all-German final, Heynckes explained that despite having a Real Madrid past, he remained a patriot and hoped for Dortmund to reach the final as they had done "fantastic work" over the past couple of years. But he warned that "Madrid will be as difficult as it is for us at the Nou Camp".

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