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Niko Kovac responds to Bayern Munich chief’s criticism

Niko Kovac, Bayern Munich, Bundesliga, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
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Niko Kovac played down fears that his Bayern Munich job may be on the line following chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge’s criticism.

Rummenigge came down hard on Kovac following Bayern Munich’s hard-fought 3-2 Champions League win at Olympiacos on Tuesday. While it maintained the club’s winning start in Group B, the chairman was still unhappy.

In fact, he accused the Bavarians of playing “too recklessly” in Greece and feared a repeat performance in the future.

This has led to fresh doubts over Kovac’s future at the Allianz Arena following a sluggish start in the Bundesliga. With only half of their games won, Bayern are in third place in the standings after eight fixtures.

The reigning champions have also failed to win their last two league matches after losing to Hoffenheim at home and drawing away to Augsburg.

Bayern’s decline in form under Kovac comes amid rumours of a return to Germany for Ajax boss Erik ten Hag.

However, speaking ahead of Bayern’s match against Union Berlin on Saturday, Kovac dismissed concerns over Rummenigge’s remarks.

“When he spoke about carelessness, everyone knows what he meant,” said the Bayern boss via SportsMax.

“Everyone expects wins – and beautiful football. We expect that too. But you cannot always play nice football. First and foremost, you have to be successful.

“We’re struggling defensively at the moment. We’re making too many individual mistakes. We have to win our duels and minimise the opponents’ chances, then we’ll win our games quieter than on Tuesday.

“I can tell you, I’m in contact with my bosses, this storm is being blown in from outside, so I’m quite relaxed. The experience over the past year has been very helpful to me.”

Interestedly, Kovac isn’t the only one whose job is reportedly on the line with Borussia Dortmund coach Lucien Favre also under pressure.

Still, Bayern and Dortmund are just a point behind surprise leaders Borussia Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga standings.

Lucien Favre, Borussia Dortmund
PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC – OCTOBER 02: Lucien Favre, Manager of Borussia Dortmund during the UEFA Champions League group F match between Slavia Praha and Borussia Dortmund at Eden Stadium on October 02, 2019 in Prague, Czech Republic. (Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images)