Ancelotti: I'd be worried if Bayern were already at top form
Carlo Ancelotti says it would be something of a concern if Bayern Munich had hit their best form before the Bundesliga's mid-season break.
Champions League defeats to Atletico Madrid and Rostov and a 1-0 Bundesliga loss to Borussia Dortmund, as well as surprise home draws with Cologne and Hoffenheim, prompted questions over Bayern's trophy hopes.
However, a run of six wins in a row - including a 3-0 victory over surprise title challengers RB Leipzig - ensured that the champions head into 2017 with a three-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga table.
And Ancelotti claims it is only important that his side produce their very best football at the key moments of the season, telling TZ: "We still can improve but we have time for that.
"If we had already been at our best during the first half of the season, we would have regretted that in spring.
"We want to win the Bundesliga and go as far as possible in Champions League. My aim is to reach the semi-final, as making the final depends on many little details which you cannot always control."
Speculation persists over the future of club captain Philipp Lahm, with some reports suggesting that the former Germany skipper could retire at the end of the season in order to take up a non-playing role at the club.
"This is a very personal decision," Ancelotti said. "Philipp Lahm does well, he is important for the team and his contract runs until 2018. I guess the fans would love it to see him for another season on pitch."
Ancelotti, who succeeded Pep Guardiola at the Allianz Arena after his move to Manchester City, says the supporters have been the biggest plus so far in his career in Germany.
"Bayern feels like a return home, to Milan," he said. "The club is like a family, in all areas. But do you know what impressed me most? It was the fans - they love this club.
"It's not that other fans wouldn't love their club, but here it is different. Lots of passion often leads to criticism, but here at Bayern we have unconditional love. I especially noticed that at the annual general assembly when Uli Hoeness was voted president again."
Bayern resume their Bundesliga campaign against Freiburg on January 20. They meet Arsenal in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on February 15.