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Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Kovac hits back at critics ahead of Dortmund showdown

AFP , Wednesday 3 Apr 2019
Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac (AFP)
Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac (AFP)
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Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac has hit back at his critics and said that his side are the best team in Germany ahead of Saturday's Bundesliga clash with title rivals Borussia Dortmund.

Kovac is under renewed pressure after Bayern slipped two points behind Dortmund in the title race when they failed to beat Freiburg last Saturday.

Yet in an interview with Sport Bild on Wednesday, the Bayern coach said that the criticism levelled at him and his side was unjust.

Kovac said that he had been unfairly portrayed as a tactical stick-in-the-mud in comparison with more glamourous coaches such as Manchester City's Pep Guardiola and Paris Saint-Germain's Thomas Tuchel.

"When I was at Frankfurt, I was portrayed as a tactics nerd like Guardiola or Tuchel because I played with different systems," said Kovac.

"Now people say that I am unable to change my system. But that's not correct.

"When I arrived here, there was a system which had been in place since Louis van Gaal was here 10 years ago.

"The team felt comfortable in the system and there was no reason to make any drastic changes, because it would have just confused the players."

Kovac also argued that the system was working, despite Bayern's struggles in front of goal against Freiburg. He pointed out that Bayern had scored 69 goals this term compared to 66 at the same point last season.

"To say we don't have a philosophy is simply not true," he said.

With a two-point gap between themselves and league leaders Dortmund, Kovac backed his team to win on Saturday and regain top spot in the Bundesliga.

"Dortmund are having a fantastic season, but if we play at our best, we are the best team in Germany and we will win the league."

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

 
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