Hitzfeld hits back at Rummenigge criticism

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MUNICH, Germany, Nov 9 (Reuters) Bayern Munich coach Ottmar Hitzfeld has hit back at club president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge for publicly questioning his decisions in 2-2 home draw against Bolton Wanderers in the UEFA Cup.

Rummenigge had criticised Hitzfeld for replacing key players such as Franck Ribery and Bastian Schweinsteiger for the final half hour with Bayern leading 2-1 yesterday.

Hitzfeld explained today that he wanted to rest the pair ahead of a Bundesliga match at VfB Stuttgart on Saturday.

''I hope I know the basic maths of football and I try to apply that,'' said Hitzfeld, who studied mathematics at university.

''I'm really annoyed,'' Rummenigge had told journalists after the draw.

''It would have been very easy to win this one and advance. The spectators have a right to see the best team play. Football is not mathematics. You can't calculate everything.'' Hitzfeld said he did not want to directly comment on Rummenigge's remarks.

''I believe that I found the right mixture so that we can win in Stuttgart,'' he said, adding he wanted to rotate some of the players to prevent injuries.

''It was a reasonable decision. We need to get back on track at Stuttgart after two league draws.'' Hitzfeld also said he was not worried about Rummenigge's attack.

''I'm used to stormy weather,'' he said. ''You shouldn't let yourself be influenced by such petty issues.'' REUTERS TB RAI1718

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