(Reuters) - Manuel Neuer is better suited to new Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola’s style of passing the ball out from the back than he was to the tactics of predecessor Jupp Heynckes, said the Germany goalkeeper.
Guardiola took over from the treble-winning Heynckes in the close season and ball possession has always been a priority for the Spaniard who won 14 trophies in four years with his former club Barcelona.
“Under Guardiola we are trying to play the ball out in a more controlled way instead of with long balls forward,” Neuer told Sport Bild magazine in an interview to be published on Wednesday.
”It was often the case last season that we played it safe and looked for (striker Mario Mandzukic) up front with long, high balls. Now we play the ball out.
“Players are looking for me more now than before and I can take part in launching our plays. For me it is easier because that way I am more involved in the game,” added Neuer.
Bayern have enjoyed a stellar start to Guardiola’s first season and are undefeated in all three competitions they have taken part in.
The Bavarians top the Bundesliga, a point ahead of Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen, and are also leading their Champions League group with three wins from three games.
The 27-year-old Neuer has conceded six goals in 10 Bundesliga games and only one in three Champions League matches.
Bayern are attempting to become the first team to successfully defend the trophy since the Champions League replaced the European Cup format in 1992-93.
Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Tony Jimenez