The 2018-19 campaign has been a slow burner for the German giants, as they rather stumbled out of the blocks under the guidance of a new coach.
Kovac knows all about life at Bayern from his playing days, but it took a while for him to find his feet in the dugout and deliver the consistency expected from the Bundesliga title holders.
He told The Sun ahead of a trip to Anfield on Tuesday for the first leg of a heavyweight continental clash: “Niko Kovac had to understand the system inside Bayern, to realise that this is a very different club to Eintracht Frankfurt, where he was before.
“It took some time for them to find each other, to find a way together. At the start the players did not know their position under him. They weren’t sure where they stood because he kept on chopping and changing.
“It seemed he was making changes for the sake of it. Every week it was a different team, players did not know if they were going to start or be on the bench. That disturbed the brains of the players, Jerome Boateng in particular.
“But he is a coach who likes to learn. He’s not the type to say ‘Hey, I’m here, I’m the guy who knows everything’. He doesn’t think he’s better than everybody else. He knows he has done some things wrong.
“Maybe he tried to change too much but now he has found himself and his first team. Niko has the fans behind him. They like him because he has been open and communicated.
“He doesn’t talk about blame or the mistakes of the players. Instead he asks himself what he could do better. I feel the whole club is behind him. He has his ideas and is working very hard.
“The atmosphere is much better in the team and I know they are all motivated to play against Liverpool. So I would warn everyone not to feel sorry or afraid for Bayern.”
Matthaus added on the challenge of facing Liverpool: “I know the mentality of the club and that they will be focused to face Jurgen Klopp and his Reds side.
“Results give you security and confidence and things have got into the heads of the players.
“But since the end of the winter break I feel now that they are in a good way. The performances have been much better.
“When you are coming up against a team like Liverpool, with all the interest in this game from around the world, I am sure they will be focused and concentrated.
“They will fight to make a surprise.”
Bayern made the last 16 after topping their group, dropping just four points and suffering no defeats along the way.
Liverpool, meanwhile, finished as runners-up in Group C behind Paris Saint-Germain and are seeking to complement their European efforts with a Premier League title challenge.