Hansi Flick says he is honoured to have been placed in interim charge of Bayern Munich. - © imago images/Jan Huebner
Hansi Flick says he is honoured to have been placed in interim charge of Bayern Munich. - © imago images/Jan Huebner
bundesliga

Hansi Flick: "I'm honoured to coach Bayern Munich"

Hansi Flick says he didn't think twice about stepping into the breach at Bayern Munich following Niko Kovac's dismissal as head coach.

Bayern parted ways with 2018/19 double-winning coach Kovac in the wake of the 5-1 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Former Germany assistant coach Flick, who joined Kovac's background staff in the summer, has been placed at the helm on an interim basis and is looking forward to the challenge.

"It happened very quickly," Flick told the assembled press as he prepares to take charge of Bayern for the first time in Wednesday's UEFA Champions League group game at home to Greece's Olympiacos. "It was clear that I would step in out of loyalty to the club. It's an honour, but it's a huge challenge for me.

"I want to talk to all the players and tell them again what they are capable of and what they do, and I want the team to take initiative and show their quality. We have to focus on what's ahead.

"I'm really happy that we've been able to bring Hermann Gerland on board as assistant coach. The team hold him in very high regard."

Gerland, who has been the sporting director of the Bayern academy since 2017, has previously worked as an assistant coach under Jupp Heynckes, Louis van Gaal, Carlo Ancelotti and Pep Guardiola.

Flick will also oversee first-team affairs for Bayern's meeting with Borussia Dortmund in Der Klassiker on Saturday. The defending champions are currently fourth in the standings, but will overtake Dortmund in second with a win.

Bayern resume their title defence after the November international break with a trip to Fortuna Düsseldorf, by which point president Uli Hoeneß says the club will have a clearer, if not concrete, idea of Kovac's successor.

"We can go and face Olympiacos on Wednesday, and Dortmund on Saturday, and be relaxed about it," Hoeness explained. "I think that we’ll know by the next away game in Düsseldorf how we'll continue."

Hoeness also reiterated how there is no bad blood between the club and Kovac, who oversaw 65 matches in his 16 months at the helm.

"We always had a good relationship with Niko Kovac," he explained. "We came to a mutual agreement. There is no dirty laundry to air. I've had a phone call with him today, everything is fine. I got the feeling that he is now free from a huge pressure."

Niko Kovac won the Bundesliga, DFB Cup and German Supercup during his 65-match stint as Bayern coach. - 2019 DFL

Bayern will be through to the Champions League last 16 with two matches to spare if they beat Olympiacos. A draw would even suffice if Group B rivals Tottenham Hotspur beat Red Star Belgrade.

The Bavarians trail league leaders Borussia Mönchengladbach by four points after 10 matches, and are set to face Bundesliga rivals Hoffenheim in the DFB Cup round of 16 in February.