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Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm is determined to lift the club’s first ever UEFA Super Cup this Friday, and deliver Pep Guardiola’s first trophy with the Bavarians.
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Guardiola’s side fell short in their first bid for silverware, losing to Borussia Dortmund in the German Super Cup in July.
But Lahm feels confident ahead of the clash with Europa League winners Chelsea in Prague, telling a pre-game press conference that the time is right for Bayern to end a duck that has seen them lose all three previous appearances against Dynamo Kiev, Anderlecht and Liverpool.
"The atmosphere is great in the team and we’ve never won the Super Cup before so our task is to win it for Munich," Lahm said. "It’s an additional motivation."
Bayern boss Guardiola was criticised by some for resting players in Bayern’s 1-1 draw with Freiburg but Lahm defended his boss, saying: "Some players didn’t play but we do have a very large pool of players -- given it’s a very long season we need every player."
And Lahm was full of praise for the impact the former Barcelona manager has made since replacing Jupp Heynckes at Bayern this summer.
"He is a very meticulous worker who sets great store by tactics, thus we’ve started working on numerous aspects and I think we will still require some time to bring it up to perfection," Lahm said. "He is an excellent manager and we have immediately realised this since his arrival."
Like his captain, Bayern attacker Thomas Muller is desperate to beat Chelsea -- though he played down the significance of his side’s Champions League final defeat to the Blues in 2012 ahead of the match at Slavia Prague’s Eden Arena stadium.
Muller said: "Last season was very positive as far as results are concerned so I don’t think there’s any lingering bitterness there [regarding the defeat to Chelsea]. We were able to compensate for that bitterly lost final with our wins last year.
"We are up there with the very best and we want to prove that. We haven’t won this cup yet and that is an additional motivation to play our best in the match."