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Bayern Munich are being pushed harder this termaccording to Thomas Muller, who says "the ease from the previous season has faded".
The German champions finished 14 points clear of Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga standings and further maintained their domestic dominance by securing their 20th DFB-Pokal.
Bayern haven't reached quite the same heights in the first half of their latest campaign, with three draws and two defeats already recorded in their opening 19 league fixtures.
A surprise DFB Pokal second-round loss against second-tier Holstein Kiel also served as proof of a drop in collective standards at Allianz Arena, but steady progress has been made in Europe once again.
Flick's side qualified for the Champions League knockout stages with five wins out of six in Group Aand now have a round of 16 showdown against Lazio to look forward to in February, as well as the Club World Cup finals in Qatar.
Bayern have also returned to the top of the Bundesligawith a 4-1 home win over Hoffenheim marking their latest triumph, but Muller has not been completely satisfied with the team's overall performances.
The 31-year-old, who scored his 13th goal of the season at Allianz Arena on Saturday, told Kicker: "The ease from the previous season has faded a little. We couldn't quite take the magic from the summer into the new season.
"In November and December we had many close results with an unusually high number of goals conceded. It takes a lot more to be at the top in the Bundesliga."
Muller added on the weight of expectation that comes with playing for Bayern: "The public and the whole league are thirsting for Bayern to finally be thrown from the throne.You are constantly under observation, there is always a magnifying glass on it.
"Every single player has to show himself and the outside world that he can go this level."
The World Cup winner also addressed ongoing speculation over his future, with his current contract at Allianz Arena due to expire in 2023.
"I'll leave that completely open. Currently, it's really fun and I'm as fit as a gym shoe," said Muller. "My game currently feels good. It is less prone to errors than it was ten years ago.