RB Leipzig head coach Jesse Marsch said his side may not be ready to face Manchester City in the Champions League on Wednesday after being thrashed at home by Bayern Munich.
Leipzig, last season’s Bundesliga runners up, have lost three of their first four league games after Saturday’s 4-1 home defeat to Bayern.
Marsch took charge of Leipzig this season after Julian Nagelsmann left to coach Bayern, but the American must pick his team up for their first Champions League game at Premier League holders Man City on Wednesday.
“It hurts us,” admitted Marsch, who said losing to Bayern was a “big defeat” and a “tough moment for the group”.
“Maybe it’s not fair that we have such big tests now like against Bayern and away at Manchester.
“Maybe we’re not ready for such big challenges,” added Marsch, who quickly changed tack, “but no matter, we have to stay strong and believe in the process.”
Leipzig reached the semi-finals of the Champions League under Nagelsmann in 2019/20.
However, they will have their work cut out to reach the last 16 this season from a group which also contains City, Lionel Messi’s Paris Saint-Germain as well as Brugge.
Marsch, 47, joined from sister club RB Salzburg and inherited a side who lost both centre-backs – Dayot Upamecano to Bayern and Ibrahima Konate to Liverpool – during the summer.
Then Leipzig captain Marcel Sabitzer joined Nagelsmann and Upamecano in Bavaria in early September.
Marsch received a vote of confidence from Leipzig’s managing director Oliver Mintzlaff on Sunday.
“He doesn’t have to worry about his job,” Mintzlaff told Bild-TV.
His players also back Marsch to turn things around.
“We trust the learning process and the coach, who is doing a super job,” stressed midfielder Kevin Kampl.
“There’s no need for panic.”