Arjen Robben was pleasantly surprised at the return of Jupp Heynckes to Bayern Munich and has called on the team to improve in the weeks ahead.
Bayern sacked Carlo Ancelotti last month after a poor start to the season, the 3-0 Champions League loss to Paris Saint-Germain proving too much for the club’s board to stomach.
The Bundesliga title-holders have lured Heynckes out of retirement to lead the rescue mission.
And Robben, who won the Champions League under the 72-year-old in 2012-13, was delighted to learn he will be working under a familiar face.
“It was strange because I was gone in Holland and of course the Dutch media was full of speculation too but nobody ever mentioned the name Heynckes,” he said of the change in personnel made during the international break.
“Therefore, it was a big surprise for me too but it was a positive surprise. I’m really happy [he] returned.”
Bayern return to domestic action at home to Freiburg in the league this weekend and Robben knows the players have little margin for error if they are to catch the early frontrunners.
“I’m confident we can get going in the upcoming weeks, beginning on Saturday, and I expect to have a good time together,” the veteran forward said.
“Now it’s up to the players. We have to bring it on to the pitch now. It begins on Saturday. We’re trailing [Borussia] Dortmund by five points and of course we can’t afford to let this gap increase any further.
“We have to establish a series now, we have to work on certain things and improve. We need to elevate our game and I am certain we will achieve that. As a team we have to show character now.”