Kovac: ‘We’ve used our time here very well’
Two cities, two friendlies, eight training sessions and countless impressions – FC Bayern have completed the Audi Summer Tour 2018 and returned to Munich Airport safe and sound on Monday morning. The record champions have eight eventful days in the USA cities of Philadelphia and Miami behind them where they had time to enjoy their free time in addition to all the hard work including media and marketing events.
Regardless of the two defeats in the friendlies against Juventus (0-2) and Manchester City (2-3), coach Niko Kovac was happy with the tour from a football perspective. "The conclusions are very positive in spite of the two defeats. It's a plus for us in terms of physical condition. The lads are full of energy. We've used our time here very well to get ourselves into top physical condition and improve our football," said Kovac ahead of the return flight to the Bavarian state capital.
Training bears first fruit
Arjen Robben, who scored the second goal against Manchester City with a fine lob, was also happy as he looked to avoid drawing too many conclusions from the results of the friendlies. "There's no need to panic. It's good to have room for improvement. The conclusions are very, very positive. It was a good week and we've worked well," said the Dutchman. When the squad is back to full strength this week, Robben believes, "the level will improve again. That's good as we can keep working and prepare for the challenges ahead."
Kovac and Robben are particularly pleased that the work on tour has born the first fruits on the pitch in addition to improving fitness levels. "We've seen a lot of things in games that we practised in training," explained Kovac. As with Robben's goal against the champions of England. "Yes, it was a really good goal and just like we've done in training this week." The expereinced winger added, "it's good for a coach when the work in training is rreflected on the pitch."
Fine-tuning at Tegernsee
While the Kovac' team did "a lot of good work" particularly in attack, the 46-year-old boss sees room for improvement at the back." We made too many mistakes covering back and that led to chances and goals. We need to do better", said Kovac. "A lot was good but we need to work on the bad things. It will be a completely different story when we're back to full strength," said a confident Kovac two weeks ahead of the first match of the season in the Supercup against Eintracht Frankfurt on 12 August.
From Thursday, Kovac will be working on fine-tuning at the training camp on Tegernsee including with the late returnees. "I know they'll have to catch up but that's normal. But we'll ration it out so that everybody is more or less up to speed at the start of the season or are fully fit by the first international break. I'm looking forward to everybody being back together and working with them. I'm sure the quality will improve even more then."