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'Nobody can stand over the club' - Kovac warns Rafinha after criticism

03:12 GMT+3 01/03/2019
Rafinha Bayern Munich
The Bayern boss has warned his players to think twice before criticising him after the defender's recent outburst against the head coach

Bayern Munich boss Niko Kovac has hit back at Rafinha's criticism of him, insisting that "nobody can stand over the club and be critical of the coach".

Defender Rafinha has made six starts in the Bundesliga since Kovac took charge, but only one of those has come in 2019.

Speaking after Bayern's 1-0 home win against Hertha Berlin on Saturday, in which he was an unused substitute, Rafinha said: "I do my work and train well, but the coach does not count on me."

Kovac has revealed that the 33-year-old has since apologised for his remarks and warned other Bayern players against criticising him in future.

"Nobody can stand over the club and be so critical about the coach," he told a media conference ahead of Bayern's visit to Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday. "That goes for everyone else too. 

"In the emotion you say things that you regret the next day. We have spoken and he has apologised in front of the team for his statements."

Bayern have won 10 of their past 11 Bundesliga games to move within just three points of leaders Borussia Dortmund.

They travel to Monchengladbach without Franck Ribery, though, who is suffering from a gastrointestinal infection, while there are concerns over Manuel Neuer, who missed training on Thursday with the flu.

Kovac, however, insists injuries and illnesses will not derail Bayern as they bid to win a seventh consecutive Bundesliga title.

"We are at the business end now," he added. "We won't let the injuries get the better of us.

"We need all three points, even though it will be a difficult game."

Following the trip to Monchengladbach​, Kovac's side host Wolfsburg in the league before playing host to Liverpool in the second leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie on March 13.