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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Kahn defends Rensing

Former Germany goalkeeper Oliver Kahn has jumped to the defence of his successor at Bayern Munich and ruled out a return from retirement.

Michael Rensing was on the losing side for the first time in his professional career on Saturday as Bayern lost 5-2 to Werder Bremen - the club's heaviest home defeat in the Bundesliga in almost 30 years.

And the new Bayern number one was singled out for particular criticism with at least two of the Bremen goals blamed on him.

Yet Kahn believes it is far too early to doubt the 24-year-old.

"I have always said that when you want to build young players, then you have got to expect the odd stumble along the way, and that is why it would be fatal to question Rensing now," said the 39-year-old in the Bild newspaper.

"The example of Iker Casillas comes to mind. He came into the Real Madrid team as a youngster and people doubted him, but Madrid stood by him and now he is European champion and one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

"A goalkeeper needs faith more than anybody else, given their relatively lonesome position."

A survey conducted by Bild saw over 60% of responses call for Kahn to return to the Bayern goal, but he dismissed the idea out of hand.

"That does not help at all - my career is over," he added.

"There is no turning back. Something new is beginning at FC Bayern and they need faith and time.

"You cannot make the mistake of thinking that Rensing will immediately reach the level I was at during the best spells of my career.

"He is young and will do things his way."

On Wednesday, Rensing will have the chance to prove the critics wrong in the second round of the DFB-Pokal against Nurnberg at the Allianz Arena.

"He should try not to think about it too much and it is good that there is the cup game on Wednesday for him," said Kahn.


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