Toni in reserves U-turn

Striker accepts reserves is best way to regain fitness

Toni: Fighting for fitness

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Bayern Munich forward Luca Toni has performed a U-turn by stating his willingness to play reserve-team football.

The Italian international last week revealed his frustration at being forced to play for the reserves lately as he bids to come back from an Achilles tendon injury.

After being left out of the squad which drew 0-0 with Juventus in midweek, the 32-year-old vented his disappointment and insisted he would not continue to play at that level.

However, Toni now accepts that if he is to win his place back in Louis van Gaal's side he must be content with reserve-team football in order to regain his fitness.

"This is no problem for me," he said. "If the manager tells me to play for them instead, I am going to play there. I am on my way back to fitness and I need practice to achieve my form."

The turnaround in attitude has been hailed by reserve-team boss and Bayern legend Mehmet Scholl.

He told Bild: "Looking at Luca and knowing his career, it's great to see someone like him getting out to play at that standard just to grab fitness.

"Luca Toni is always a boost as he always tries to do his best."


Scholl was critical of the effort being made by the rest of his reserve squad, singling out defender Christian Lell, who is yet to play for Bayern under Van Gaal.

"I frequently have first-team players available but not everyone is doing as fine as Luca Toni does. He is impressive, others are nowhere near being as impressive.

"Players such as Christian Lell. I have to say it is his career that is not running as straight and fast as it probably could at this point in time."

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Michael Rensing is pessimistic about his chances of ousting first choice Hans-Jorg Butt from the side, despite featuring in the club's 5-0 German Cup win over Rot-Weiss Oberhausen last week.

"I do not expect a thing at all. I have tried to show my abilities in training and felt I was having a good training performance."

The 25-year-old became a regular under former boss Jurgen Klinsmann but has yet to win over Van Gaal, who took charge in the summer, but Rensing knows he is not alone in fighting for his place.

"I was delighted to get the chance to grab match practice and feel I still have every chance to return to regular first-team action just like anyone else from the squad."