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Bayern München

Rummenigge, Hoeness back Kovac to succeed with Bayern

05:32 GMT+3 01/12/2018
Niko Kovac - cropped
Despite a disappointing start to the season, the club is backing the under-fire manager

Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and club president Uli Hoeness have backed embattled coach Niko Kovac to turn around the team's poor form.

Having claimed the Bundesliga title by 21 points and narrowly lost to Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the Champions League last season under Jupp Heynckes, Bayern now sit nine points off first-placed Borussia Dortmund after nine league matches under Kovac.

The 47-year-old former Croatia international, who joined after defeating Bayern in last season's DFB-Pokal final with Eintracht Frankfurt, has faced increasing scrutiny on his position and disciplinarian style.

Kovac responded to the rumours at a press conference on Friday, saying that he puts himself under plenty of pressure to succeed as well.

However, Rummenigge offered his support at Bayern's Annual General Meeting on Friday.

"I like him as a person," Rummenigge said in his address, hoping Kovac will soon "return to a solid, a successful track. It's our wish Niko will be FC Bayern coach for a long time."

Hoeness also offered his backing for the manager: "We have a very good coach committed who deserves a chance and we should all give our support."

Despite securing qualification to the knockout stages of the Champions League with Tuesday's 5-1 demolition of Benfica, Bayern are winless in their past three league matches having drawn Fortuna Dusseldorf and Freiburg and lost to Borussia Dortmund.

"I now see a Niko Kovac fighting and ready to change a few things. I like that, the beginning has been made," Rummenigge added.

"We will never raise the white flag, giving up is not part of our vocabulary."

Bayern Munich are set to face off with Werder Bremen in the club's next Bundesliga match before moving onto Nurnberg ahead of a return to Champions League play.

The reigning champions will be without Mats Hummels this weekend due to a stomach bug and did not travel with the team ahead of the match.

Kingsley Coman, Thiago Alcantara and Serge Gnabry are all available to return, though, giving a big boost to Bayern's midfielder and forward group.