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By ESPN Staff
May 17, 2009

Hoeness blames Klinsmann as title hopes fade away

General manager Uli Hoeness has placed most of the blame for Bayern Munich's disappointing season at the feet of former coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

The Bavarians risk failing to qualify for the Champions League if they lose to Stuttgart in their final game of the season - when a win could still be enough for them to rise to the summit of the table for the first time all year and clinch the title.

However, Hoeness remains disappointed with the way Klinsmann seemingly made his team worse than it was last season.

"We have never played as well in the Bundesliga this season as we did last year when we dominated the league with a team which was certainly no better than the one we had this year," he said.

"Therefore, there is certainly room for criticism when, one year later, you don't do the same again with the same or even slightly better team."

Last summer, Klinsmann took over from Ottmar Hitzfeld, who won a league and cup double in 2007-08 while leading Bayern to the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup.

Upon his arrival, he revolutionised the way the club was run, ordering changes to the training facilities and regime, but he was sacked last month after a defeat to Wolfsburg left them lagging behind in the race for the title.

Hoeness stopped short of pinning all of the blame on Klinsmann, but for the first time since telling him to pack his bags, he admitted he had made mistakes.

"Jurgen Klinsmann does not carry all of the blame, but one thing is clear - we cannot be happy with the work he has done," said Hoeness on ZDF television.

"We still feel that the material we gave him to work with as coach was better than what we got out of it in the end.

"We certainly expected more from the appointment of Klinsmann."

Caretaker coach Jupp Heynckes now has one game left to rescue the season and at least book Bayern a place in the Champions League next season.

Winning the title is no longer the target, according to Hoeness.

He said: "We are only looking at Stuttgart now and what happens in Wolfsburg doesn't play a role.

"We have got to concentrate on our direct rivals for second place.

"Thank god it is all in our own hands. A win will make this second place 100% ours.

"It is going to be a nervy game. Both teams can win the league, both can finish second to go into the Champions League directly, but both also risk falling down to fourth and that would be fatal."

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