"Work on patterns we can repeat in matches"

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Niko Kovac has been in his job as FC Bayern coach for a little over three weeks, and on Thursday he faced the media at Säbener Straße for the first time. In his answers he was forthright and detailed, talking about his visions, tactical ideas and training work.

“Pre-season is pre-season. You just have to get through it,” he said with a grin on his face before he was asked about the high intensity of training. The team has been training for two hours twice a day, but Kovac explained that was always “in consultation with the medical department”. He was eager to avoid an “overload”.

Focus on flexibility

“We have a whole season to get through,” continued the former Croatia manager, who always takes current footballing developments into consideration in his training work. “Football has become more varied, and we have to be able to react to that,” he said justifying why he is focusing so much on tactical work in pre-season.

“You can quickly change from a back three to a back four, so we want to be flexible,” the former midfielder continued. These aspects will be looked at closely at the training camp at Tegernsee (2-9 August) when players return from their post-World Cup holidays.

Set pieces the trump card

It will then be important to “work on patterns in training that can always be repeated in games.” For Kovac that includes set pieces, which for him are “always hugely valuable” and were key at the recent World Cup. “They can turn a game, which is why practising them helps,” the coach reinforced.

Bayern have a number of matches coming their way in the next few weeks and have been working hard since the first day of training to implement what the coach wants. “But the lads are really getting into it and doing a fantastic job. The intensity and passion of the players is really impressive,” Kovac said in praise of his team.

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