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15 August, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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‘‘Kovac can build an era at Bayern’

AFP, Dortmund
‘‘Kovac can build an era at Bayern’
Bayern Munich's Croatian headcoach Niko Kovac reacts during the German Cup (DFB Pokal) first round football match against FC Energie Cottbus at the Freundschaft stadium in Cottbus, eastern Germany on Monday. AFP photo

Bayern Munich legend Lothar Matthaeus believes under-fire coach Niko Kovac can define an era at the club and walk in the footsteps of managerial greats Ottmar Hitzfeld and Jupp Heynckes.

In an interview with AFP ahead of Bayern's Bundesliga opener against Hertha Berlin on Friday, the 1990 World Cup winner said that Kovac could emulate the achievements of Bayern's most successful coaches and lead the club to Champions League glory.

"I think Kovac could even build an era in the way Ottmar Hitzfeld, Jupp Heynckes and Udo Lattek did at Bayern," Matthaeus, 58, told AFP.

Kovac was under constant pressure in his first year at Bayern last season and faced repeated criticism from inside the dressing room, despite eventually leading the club to the domestic double.

"He won the double in difficult conditions last year. He showed he can fight," said Matthaeus.

"He is a football expert and I think this season will be easier for him."

Matthaeus, who won seven Bundesliga titles with Bayern as a player, said that Kovac has been "left on his own" by players who had "the ear of the club bosses".

He suggested that the Croatian would find it easier now that senior players such as Arjen Robben, Mats Hummels and Franck Ribery had left Munich.

"I think the younger players he has now have the potential, the quality and the mentality that Niko needs to play his kind of football," said Matthaeus.

The 58-year-old said that he believed Bayern still had the quality to compete for the Champions League.

"Bayern have 17 players who are really at the top level, but they cannot afford to suffer lots of injuries as they did last year," he said.

"If any German club is going to win the Champions League, it will be Bayern," he added.

After they took the title race to the final day of the season in 2018/19, many in Germany believe that this could be Borussia Dortmund's year in the Bundesliga.

The perennial runners-up have strengthened their squad with Thorgan Hazard, Julian Brandt and Hummels, and have stated their intention to end Bayern's seven-year hegemony over the German league.

Yet Matthaeus believes that, despite their lack of movement in the transfer market, Bayern remain favourites for the Bundesliga title.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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