Feb 23, 2012, 05.22 AM IST | Source: Reuters

Ribery entitled to sulk, says Bayern coach

SOCCER-CHAMPIONS-HEYNCKES:Ribery entitled to sulk, says Bayern coach

By Brian Homewood

BASEL (Reuters) - Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes had no problem with Franck Ribery's sulky reaction to being substituted in their 1-0 Champions League defeat to FC Basel on Wednesday.

Ribery had two good efforts saved early in the match but ran out of ideas as the game went on, repeatedly running down blind alleys as Basel defenders crowded him out.

He was taken off midway through the second half and television pictures showed he refused to look Heynckes in the eye or shake his hand as he made his way to the bench.

"It's natural when a player is substituted in a game of this importance that he is not going to be very happy," said Heynckes, playing down the incident.

Heynckes, looking unruffled despite the growing pressure on his side who have fallen four points behind Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund, said the game could have gone either way.

"It was generally an even game, a typical 0-0 game," he said. "Both teams had very good scoring chances.

"If we had taken the lead, we could have sat back and let them come at us. But we took risks because we wanted to win the game.

"I'm convinced that in a short time we can play better and with more success." (Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Peter Rutherford; To comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)

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