Kovac confident: Bayern 'well on course'
On Saturday morning the Bayern players had the opportunity to say goodbye to the fans in Rottach-Egern. At the end of a week's pre-season preparatrions at the Tegernsee lakeside resort, Niko Kovac's team took part in a public training session. Almost 1,500 spectators defied the rather gloomy weather to watch the one-and-a-half-hour session.
The record champions thanked their supporters by demonstrating their skills during a longer internal team practice match, among other things, and were also available afterwards for numerous selfie and autograph requests. Then the team bus set off for Munich, bringing to an end five successful days of preparation at the resort.
Positive verdict on pre-season
Head coach Kovac summed up the current state of preparations for the season: "We used the time very well. Physically, we're well on course". By the time the opening Bundesliga match against Hertha BSC comes round next Friday "we should be in good shape," revealed the 47-year-old, who also feels his team are well-prepared for the DFB Cup first round game at Energie Cottbus in two days ("We also want to show that on Monday.").
Above all, one positive aspect was that the 47-year-old had almost all his squad together during the training camp and that almost everyone returned fit. "Except for Javi, [Martinez] they're all present at the moment," confirmed Kovac, who doesn't want to take any risks with the Spaniard due to knee problems. However, he hopes that "Javi will be fully up and running in the next few weeks".
Lucas Hernández, on the other hand, was able to complete most of the sessions at the training camp after having overcome a knee injury, and was even able to play alongside his teammates for 45 minutes in the friendly against FC Rottach-Egern. However, FC Bayern's next competitive matches will arrive too soon for the world champion.
Hernández should soak up the atmosphere
"Lucas has been out for six months, so you can't expect him to start in Cottbus," said Kovac, "we're not going to throw him straight into the firing line." Nevertheless, Kovac will take the 23-year-old with him on the trip to the east of Germany on Sunday. Hernández will get to know "the atmosphere, the stadiums, the German culture and mentality" so he can be "integrated even faster into the team and here in Germany".
It was already obvious at the fun team-building evening on Thursday how well the team has bonded. To the applause of the established players, Hernández and the other new signings gave it their all when they serenaded everyone for the first time. "We already had some good vocal performances," explained Kovac, who was delighted with the team spirit. "The atmosphere in the team is very good, the lads understand each other. That's what you need off the pitch for it to work on the pitch."