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'Kovac is the right man for Bayern' - Matthaus backs coach but slams James & Lewandowski

5:35 PM IST 10/10/18
Niko Kovac Bayern Munich
The former Germany star has criticised the club's big-name players and the hierarchy after a run of four games without a win and defended their coach

Lothar Matthaus has backed under-fire Bayern Munich manager Niko Kovac - and slammed the German giants' star players and hierarchy.

Bayern have not won in four games and were beaten 3-0 at home by Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday.

Club legend Matthaus admitted that performance was one of Bayern's 'worst in years' - but says they are paying the price for failing to rejuvenate an ageing squad, rather than blaming Croatian Kovac.

Bayern have slipped to sixth in the Bundesliga and Matthaus told Blick : "Many players have been awarded new contracts and Bayern ignored exciting talents in the transfer market. 

"I can't understand it. Bayern had nine players in the field on Saturday, who played in the Champions League final in 2013."

Former Bayern midfielder Kovac, 46, only succeeded Jupp Heynckes in the summer and, despite a run of seven wins at the start of the season, has seen his side struggle in recent weeks.

Club president Uli Hoeness has suggested Kovac is ‘putting his neck on the line’ due to his rotation policy - but Matthaus, who played for Bayern in two spells between 1984 and 2000, is behind the former Croatia and Eintracht Frankfurt boss.

"He's an ambitious guy with a plan," he added. "He is the right man to turn things around. The responsibility is more club management and players."

And he singled out star names such as James Rodriguez, Robert Lewandowski, Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery for criticism.

"Players like James and Lewandowski, Robben and Ribery - some stars are selfish and disrespectful to coaches, club and team-mates. This must stop. 

"Uli Hoeness has to give up sayings like that. He and [sports director] Hasan Salihamidzic need to make it clear to players that they need to change their negative body language."