Bayern Munich coach Juergen Klinsmann has been forced on to the back foot after his team’s Champions League quarter-final exit to Barcelona, saying Bayern must now win the Bundesliga title to maintain its credibility.
Some fans turned against Klinsmann after Bayern's loss to Barcelona
Confronted with "Klinsmann out" chants from Bayern fans in the return leg against the Spanish league leaders the previous night, Klinsmann acknowledged that every coach was measured by success.
"Jeers from the fans hurt," said Klinsmann. "You must present a trophy on the Marienplatz (the Munich square where the club traditionally celebrates titles)."
"Of course such a situation is not comfortable," the coach said after the match. "But I understand that after the 4-0 in the first leg people are angry."
Bayern rank second in the Bundesliga, three points behind leaders VfL Wolfsburg. With seven matches remaining, Klinsmann said every game was now a final for last year's champions.
"We have to get points, points, points," Klinsmann told reporters. "We have to get maximum points and I still believe we will win the championship."
Wolfsburg walked all over Bayern at the Volkswagon Arena
But Bayern's defeat to Barca is not the only factor behind the ramped up pressure on Klinsmann. Eleven days ago the Bavarians suffered a 5-1 loss to Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga, a result that followed their dismantling by Bayer Leverkusen in the German Cup in March.
The lagging form has added to speculation that even if Klinsmann brings home a national league trophy he could still be axed.
But club president Franz Beckenbauer, who has not been one of Klinsmann's most ardent supporters, tried to take some pressure off his coach.
"I would not be angry if we did not win the Bundesliga after this year of confusion," Beckenbauer said after the Barcelona match. "But we need the Champions League (qualification spot)."
New stars needed
Bayern conceded they need more stars in addition to Franck Ribery
In Europe, Bayern's deficits were brutally exposed by Barca last week when the Catalans won the first leg 4-0. Tuesday's game ended 1-1 as Bayern failed once again to make the final four in Europe's top tournament since winning the trophy in 2001.
Bayern's failure to push on in Europe this year underlined that the club's reliance on French star Franck Ribery would not bring it any trophies beyond the Bundesliga, and that the club needed to bolster its attacking and defensive ranks.
"We know in which areas we must improve when we start again in the Champions League next year ... We definitely need two or three top players. We are working on that," said Klinsmann.
"But now we must concentrate on the Bundesliga and win points there."