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Klinsmann claims he was the target of witch hunt at Bayern

JUERGEN Klinsmann says he was the target of an "undignified witch hunt" in his final months as coach of Bayern Munich.

Klinsmann, who was fired in April with five games remaining in the season, also admitted making some mistakes during his tenure, including agreeing to too many compromises.

The former Germany coach lost the job before completing the first year of his two-year contract. He made the comments on television and in an interview with the German news agency DPA published yesterday.

He said "people outside the club" brought up old subjects that were then also picked up by the media, "maliciously and continuously."

"Every game became a key game. In the last two, three months it was an undignified witch hunt," he said.

Klinsmann made enemies in Munich when he threw out goalkeeping coach Sepp Maier and demoted Oliver Kahn to the backup goalkeeper while in charge of Germany. Both are Munich legends and Klinsmann said many people were still loyal to them.

"One mistake was without a doubt that I allowed too many compromises. I should have insisted on three, four new players from the start," he said.

Jupp Heynckes took over the team in the last five games and Dutchman Louis van Gaal will be the coach next season.

Meanwhile, Bayern striker Lukas Podolski said he might have stayed at Munich if he had gotten more playing time. The Germany striker is leaving Bayern at the end of the season after three years to return to Cologne.

The move was announced midway through the season when Podolski was unhappy with few starts under Klinsmann. He has been starting under Heynckes - although regular Miroslav Klose was unavailable because of an ankle injury.

"Now, at the end with the new coach, it's been going well," Podolski said yesterday. "Had it gone so well before, perhaps the decision (to leave) would have been different. It's been three good years and it should be a nice farewell with a victory," Podolski said.


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