Hyypia calls for Leverkusen improvement
By Football News
Sami Hyypia has laid down a challenge to his Bayern Leverkusen side in preparation for their Europa League encounter with Metalist on Wednesday night.
Leverkusen have made a slow start to the season, losing two of their three Bundesliga fixtures including a 3-0 defeat at Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.
Hyypia is aware that Metalist, of Ukraine, will pose a strong challenge and wants his side to lift their game, particularly in attack.
"We played Metalist two years ago but the team has changed a bit since then," Hyypia said.
"There are more South American players now. They did very well last season in the Europa League and I expect a difficult match tomorrow. All their players are technically very good. They're fast and quite strong so we need to play very well and compact.
"We should help each other and in attack we need to show more quality than we did last weekend in Dortmund. To my mind our attacking play wasn't that good."
Hyypia – who played for Leverkusen between 2009 and 2011 after a 10-year stint at Liverpool – also said he is not feeling the pressure despite their slow start in his first season as permanent manager at the club.
"Of course the pressure is different as a coach (than a player)," he said.
"You're alone with this feeling. As a player you're one of 20 or 25 so of course it's different. But I can't say that I feel much pressure. It's more about putting myself under pressure. Everything around me which could cause pressure isn't important to me. It's all about my own feeling.
"I've been under pressure a long time when I played, so it's not new for me. But I'm a very calm person. I'm relaxed.
"I would like to give some of my coolness to the players. We've played three matches so far, 31 will come. Maybe after 15 matches with just one victory I'll get nervous, but at this moment it's too early."