German Bundesliga

Jonker wanted Van Gaal blessing

April 11, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

New Bayern Munich coach Andries Jonker has revealed he asked ousted predecessor Louis van Gaal for his permission to take over for the final five games of the Bundesliga season.

Andries Jonker: Bayern caretaker manager
GettyImagesAndries Jonker: Bayern caretaker manager

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Van Gaal was sacked following a 1-1 draw with Nurnberg on Saturday and Jonker placed in temporary charge until Jupp Heynckes, who has agreed a two-year contract, arrives from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer.

However, Jonker admitted he would not have accepted the offer had Van Gaal not given him his seal of approval.

"It was a very tough decision for me,'' he said. "Van Gaal has done many things really, really well. I have a close bond with him and only agreed to take over when he gave me his consent.''

Jonker assumes a similar role to the one Heynckes accepted two years ago when he replaced Jurgen Klinsmann with the club fighting for a place in the Champions League.

Four wins and a draw were enough to lead Bayern to second in 2009 and Jonker would be happy with even less than that.

"On May 14, we have got to be third,'' he said. "I don't need to teach the players anything new for five games - I need to reach the Champions League with the fans, the board, with my training team and with the players.''

His first challenge comes on Saturday when his side host second-placed Bayer Leverkusen, and Jonker will be without Arjen Robben. The Dutchman has been suspended for two games by the German Football Association (DFB) for his red card at the end of Saturday's game in Nuremberg.

Holger Badstuber is also suspended after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season.

"Obviously I am not glad to lose two players to suspension,'' said Jonker. "But we are going to have to find a solution, and we will find one.''

A solution has also been found for Jonker's future beyond the end of the season. He will take over the club's reserve team, with current coach Hermann Gerland becoming part of Heynckes' backroom staff.