Hecking denies De Bruyne saga is distracting Wolfsburg

The coach admitted his troops served up an “uninspired” performance in their 1-1 draw at Koln but denied that they are being affected by the transfer talk

Wolfsburg boss Dieter Hecking has dismissed the suggestion that the media frenzy created by Kevin De Bruyne’s proposed move to Manchester City is responsible for his side’s sluggish start to the new Bundesliga season.

City are willing to break their transfer record to sign the Belgium international for £50 million (€69m) but have yet to reach an agreement with the forward’s current employers.

Hecking admitted on Thursday that the ongoing speculation is taking its toll on De Bruyne but the coach does not believe that the scrappy 2-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt on the opening day of the 2015-16 campaign and Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Koln should be viewed as evidence that the entire Wolfsburg squad are being distracted by the ongoing transfer saga.

“I don’t see how that is affecting us,” the 50-year-old trainer told reporters. “You cannot blame a bad game only on one player. So I do not see a correlation.”

Wolfsburg needed an 83rd-minute equaliser from substitute Nicklas Bendtner to salvage a point at Koln, with the visitors having fallen behind to Simon Zoller’s goal on the half hour.

Hecking was pleased by his side’s fighting spirit but admitted that they had performed poorly and that an immediate improvement is required.

“That was not a good game on our behalf,” he added. “Our display over 60 minutes was uninspired and had very little to do with high-tempo football.

“That was the case for a period against Frankfurt and it was even more noticeable here today. We need to turn things around very quickly.

“After an hour we got a better grip on proceedings and then we got our goal. That is one of my team’s strengths. On the whole, though, I am not satisfied.”

Wolfsburg, who sit fifth in the standings, next host Schalke at the Volkswagen Arena on Friday.