Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng has urged his teammates not to lose their way after news of the impending departure of coach Niko Kovac to champions Bayern Munich at the end of the current campaign emerged this week.
Hot on the heels of this week's announcement that the Croatian tactician will take the Bayern reins from Jupp Heynckes from 2018/19, Eintracht suffered a disappointing setback in the form of Saturday's 4-1 reverse against Bayer Leverkusen. Hoping to qualify for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in the club's history, Eintracht have lost ground in the chase for a top-four finish, with opponents Bayer gaining a strong foothold behind the Bundesliga's front runners and Hoffenheim also climbing into contention.
Watch: Boateng says it's important for Frankfurt to stick to their aims.
Speaking to bundesliga.com after Eintracht's second defeat in three games, Boateng explained, "I think for us there were discussions about it (Bayern Munich’s hiring of coach Kovac) but at the end of the day we know that’s football; it can happen. We did a great job up to now and we want to finish the season the way we started the season. We want to reach our targets and we’ll see what’s going to happen with the rest."
Since arriving on a free transfer from Spanish side Las Palmas on a three-year deal last August, Boateng has been one of several players transformed under the skillful hand of wily tactician Kovac. With six goals and an assist to his name in 2017/18, the Berlin-born former Ghana international has also weighed in with a challenge inside every seven minutes he has been on the field of play.
Following their DFB Cup semi-final against Schalke on Tuesday, Eintracht have four remaining Bundesliga fixtures in which to earn the points needed to return to the European Cup for the first time since they reached the 1960 final, where they lost to Real Madrid. Hertha Berlin, Bayern, Hamburg and Schalke will be the obstacles in the Eagles' flight path as they look to end the season on a high under their departing coach.