BERLIN (Reuters) – Bayern Munich striker Mario Gomez has been give little playing time since the Bundesliga restart in January but the Germany international is confident his time will come.
Gomez has been playing second fiddle to Mario Mandzukic at Bayern this season with the Croatian striker leading the league scoring charts with 14 goals after notching another two in their 3-0 win at Mainz 05 on Saturday.
Bayern have had a superb Bundesliga season so far, with 16 wins from their 20 games having scored 51 goals and conceded seven. They also face Arsenal in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 later this month.
Gomez, who came back late last year after ankle surgery in August, said he understood coach Jupp Heynckes’ desire to stick with a winning team.
"I am aware that the team are playing great football at the moment," Gomez told reporters on Monday ahead of Germany’s friendly game against France this week.
"What is a coach to do? Should he risk things not working out that well just to use players who have been out for some time, like me, and are now wanting to play again?"
Heynckes has used the same starting 11 for his three league games since the restart after the mid-season break.
"I have not played (much) in the last three games but we still have a number of games in the second part of the season and I can put all of this into perspective," he said.
Gomez, who is expected to start against France in his first appearance since the losing Euro 2012 semi-final to Italy in June, denied reports of frustration among the Bayern players left on the bench.
"Media try to create an atmosphere that the team is split and that is so not the case," Gomez said.
Bayern team mate Arjen Robben, who has also seen little action so far this year, was visibly annoyed and quickly walked off into the changing rooms after their win at Mainz while team mates were celebrating on the pitch.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Mark Meadows)
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