Niko Kovac has held his first press conference and Bayern Munich and took his first training session with the team on Monday. - © © imago
Niko Kovac has held his first press conference and Bayern Munich and took his first training session with the team on Monday. - © © imago

Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac: “I know what is expected of me here”

New Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac was unveiled in Munich on Monday and spoke about his squad, his tactics, himself and the club’s goals in a press conference. has taken the best of his answers in which the former Eintracht Frankfurt coach spoke of his aim to win titles, but first and foremost to improve every player, technically and tactically.

On himself…

“I know a lot of people look at a new coach’s CV, to see what he achieved. It’s great to come here with a title, personally for me it was nice to achieve that, and I hope I’ll have more now.

“It’s easier for others to talk about me. A lot has been said and written. I grew up in a working-class area of Berlin, with many different cultures and nations around me and it influenced me. I always had to work hard, because everyone has a natural talent, but you also need to have the ability to work on your talent. I expect the same from myself in my life today. I love to work and be a role model, but I expect others to follow suit.”

James Rodriguez will not be with the rest of the Bayern Munich squad until the end of July as he has been involved in the ongoing FIFA World Cup with Colombia. - © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA

Pre-season and the squad…

“We as a coaching team want to improve the squad in every area. First of all, I want to get to know the players, new and old, and the youth players, too. We don’t have our full squad so we’ll fill it with youth players for now. Pre-season means hard work, we need to gain fitness and integrate a new system into the squad.

“I’m convinced on day one of training we’ll be as motivated as I expect. These are players who have been here for years and can motivate themselves. Even though they’ve won a lot, they want to win more. My goal is to improve every player, technically and tactically. If we can improve in every area a little bit, then we have chances to win a trophy or two. There was a coach here who won everything in Germany, a lot who didn’t, we’ll see what happens but we’re here to win titles."

Robert Lewandowski scored 59 goals in 58 games for club and country during the 2018/19 season, only one short of Real Madrid and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo. - © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA / Hangst

Tactics and style of play…

“Since Louis Van Gaal was here in 2010, Bayern’s style of play has been influenced heavily by many coaches. We want to maintain the style of being in control, but we want to maybe play in a different system depending on the situation. Against Bayern in the DFB Cup final, I played a 4-3-3 then changed to a back-five. Football isn’t what it used to be, you don’t start a game the same way you finish it so we want to be flexible and ready for every situation.”

Watch: How Kovac transformed Eintracht Frankfurt!

On the US tour…

“The players that have been knocked out of the World Cup will join us on 25 July, with around four weeks’ holiday behind them. I decided to give the players a little extra holiday. Players who were at the World Cup will not join us in the USA.”

On Robert Lewandowski…

“I spoke to Robert Lewandowski on the phone, told him my opinion and what I think of him and our situation. He’s a world-class striker who has achieved a lot at this club and he’ll continue to do this. We maintain that Lewandowski will play for Bayern this season. I told him how important he is for this team and how much I value him. We didn’t speak for long, but it was to the point.”

On Renato Sanches

“He’s a young player and young players have different ways of developing. Someone from a different country can’t always integrate to a new country so easily. I’ll try to help him settle here. He has a lot of quality, that’s why Bayern signed him. I hope he accepts the fight, the battle and is motivated to work from day one. Then he can perform the way that we, and he himself, expects to perform.”

The start of the season…

“Of course I’m very much looking forward to facing Frankfurt in the Supercup. It’s my old club, I’ve only been gone for six or seven weeks and I’m still in touch with a lot of the guys there. I’m selfish enough to say I want to win this title in my first game with Bayern.

“When the Bundesliga schedule is released I’m always excited. In our first 4 games we play three teams who finished in the top five last season. We have to be ready from the start. Hoffenheim is a difficult team to play. A great team with a great manager.”

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