Bayern Munich manager Niko Kovac pinpointed the turning point of their campaign after winning the DFB-Pokal to complete a domestic double.
Kovac endured a difficult start to the first half of his debut campaign in charge of Bayern, which saw them languishing nine points behind Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga.
Fears had begun to creep in over the possibility that Bayern’s six-season dominance of the German league would come to an end. This had prompted speculation that Kovac’s job was on the line.
In to May, however, the Croatian has now ended his first term at the Allianz Arena with a double after Saturday’s 3-0 victory over RB Leipzig in Berlin secured Bayern the DFB-Pokal Cup.
Robert Lewandowski bagged a brace with Kingsley Coman being the other scorer as Bayern claimed their first DFB-Pokal Cup since 2016. While Kovac won the competition for the second time as a manager.
And now the 47-year-old has revealed he was always confident Bayern could win the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal.
“If I said yes now, than you would say I am completely crazy,” said Kovac, according to AOL.
“At Bayern, you always go into a season with the goal to win titles. We were far behind but this team did great things later.”
Since thrashing Benfica 5-1 in the Champions League on November 27, the Bavarians won 22 of their final 29 games of the season.
“The game against Benfica was the turnaround,” continued Kovac.
“We won 5-1 at the end of November. Since then we have only lost two matches, one against [Bayer] Leverkusen in the Bundesliga and one against Liverpool at home. So, you always have to believe.
“I am an optimist, not a dreamer. We needed to stabilise ourselves early in the season and we made it. If you give up, then you cannot achieve this. This is the strength of this team, of this club.
“But this also represents my character. I don’t know how to give up, even if it was that difficult. Giving up is the first way to fail. It does not exist for me.”
Kovac added: “I am happy that this year got a happy end. I am looking forward to the holidays. The season was tough.
“I’m not thinking about when the next season starts. Now I need two or three weeks to relax and get mentally ready again.
“We will work again to prepare for next season. We will plan our training and our transfers.”