Niko Kovac has reiterated the fact that Bayern Munich will defend their Bundesliga crown if they win their remaining six games, regardless of what Borussia Dortmund do in the remainder of the title race.
After bringing Dortmund down to earth on Matchday 28 with a crushing 5-0 win at the Allianz Arena, Kovac and Bayern are now focusing on Fortuna Düsseldorf, whom they face on Sunday.
“I still have the reverse fixture in mind,” Kovac admitted when looking back on Bayern’s surprise 3-3 draw at home to Fortuna back in November. “Now we have to make up for the mess we made against them in the Hinrunde.
Watch: Bayern humble Dortmund in Der Klassiker!
“It’s important that all the players are healthy and that we can draw from the full squad. We must be mentally strong when it comes to the crunch. Our players are used to playing under pressure, which they’ve experienced all too often in their careers, even if the title fight is a little closer than in previous years.”
Bayern have won each of the last six Bundesliga titles, but have not been pushed this closely in the title race for many years. It would be the first German league title as a coach for Kovac in his debut season in Munich, with it now being all up to the players, according to the Croatian.
Watch: Fortuna stunned Bayern at the Allianz Arena in November!
“We [the coaching staff] give them everything and push them, but the players must be ready to flip the switch. If we win all six of our remaining games, it doesn’t matter what Dortmund do.”
Bayern face Fortuna (a), Werder Bremen (h), Nuremberg (a), Hannover (h), RB Leipzig (a) and Eintracht Frankfurt (h) in their final six fixtures of the season. With a one-point lead over Dortmund, the title is very much in the Bavarians' hands.