Joshua Kimmich has insisted Bayern Munich's DFB Cup final disappointment last season will only spur him on as the champions prepare to launch their season against Hoffenheim on Friday (kick-off 8:30pm CEST/7:30pm BST/2:30pm ET).
At just 23, Kimmich already has a collection of three Bundesliga titles, one DFB Cup and a FIFA Confederations Cup winner's medal, but his impressive haul of silverware does not stop Bayern's DFB Cup final defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt last May from smarting.
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Instead of feeling sorry for himself, Kimmich will draw on that painful memory to scale greater heights in 2018/19.
"I don't have any problem motivating myself, I'm up for it. When you see the way the season ended with the defeat in the cup final [...] it pushes you on more. You learn to appreciate a DFB Cup win and a league title more. Through failure, you learn to more appreciate success, which hopefully we'll have again soon. We have the quality for that," said the former Stuttgart and RB Leipzig man.
Fresh in mind and fit in body, Kimmich will be part of a Bayern squad that — following their stunning Supercup success against Frankfurt — will seek to give new coach Niko Kovac a winning start to his Bundesliga career as coach of the top-flight's record champions.
Friday's visitors to the Allianz Arena, last season's third-placed finishers Hoffenheim, are unlikely to be quite so keen to give the former Croatia and Frankfurt boss the opening night he will be hoping for, with visiting head coach Julian Nagelsmann even speaking of his desire for Hoffenheim to challenge for the title this season.
Kimmich has welcomed such fighting talk, though. "It's good that someone is there who doesn't say from the start, 'Oh, Bayern will do it again'. This challenge makes the competition more interesting," said the Germany international as Bayern prepare to embark on their quest for a seventh successive Meisterschale.
"Hoffenheim have something about them, you can see they understand their set-up, starting with Kevin Vogt, who pulls the strings from the back. He's very good at building play from the back, finding his teammates in between the lines. Everyone knows what they have to do."
'Relaxed but to the point'
After spending two seasons in Bavaria as a player between 2001 and 2003, Kovac's return to the club this summer has brought with it a change in methods and man-management style from his most recent predecessors, Jupp Heynckes and Carlo Ancelotti.
"We train more. It's more focussed on endurance, we do more cycling. I think he has a great approach. He's very calm, also in interviews, which is something that had already struck me when he was at Frankfurt. He's like that with the team too, always relaxed, but always to the point. I like that a lot," Kimmich explained, before highlighting what makes a successful Bayern coach.
"What is key is what he brings, what he brings tactically. It's a blend of man-management and what input he has in the team. That input can create more respect than things you have achieved before. The here and now always counts for more. It's about whether the coach brings us on, how he is around the stars and how he sends us out onto the pitch. In the end, he'll be judged on success."