Niko Kovac Questions Bayern Munich 'Attitude' After Narrow Bochum Win

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistOctober 30, 2019

MUNICH, GERMANY - OCTOBER 26: head coach Niko Kovac of FC Bayern Muenchen gestures during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and 1. FC Union Berlin at Allianz Arena on October 26, 2019 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

Bayern Munich manager Niko Kovac hit out at his players following their DFB-Pokal win over Bochum on Tuesday, questioning their "attitude." 

Bayern fell behind against the second-tier outfit after an own goal from Alphonso Davies, and for long spells it looked as though they were set to exit the competition. However, Serge Gnabry equalised in the 83rd minute before Armel Bella-Kotchap was sent off for the hosts and Thomas Muller scored a winner with 89 minutes on the clock.

Despite the dramatic win, Kovac was far from happy with his players and criticised their mindset for the match, per James Willoughby of Goal:

"It was all wrong for 60, 70 minutes. The fact that we played so many bad passes, in my opinion, has something to do with the attitude...it has nothing to do with tactics. It has to do with the attitude. There were too many players who played bad passes.

"... After Philippe Coutinho and Thomas Muller came on, things improved. And in the end we got that little bit of luck against Bochum, who really played so well."

Bochum are only off the bottom of the second tier in Germany on goal difference, but they were able to match Bayern for long spells. In the end, Kovac needed to call on Coutinho, Muller and star striker Robert Lewandowski from the bench.

Per OptaFranz, despite the poor performance, it was a landmark win for Bayern in the cup competition:

OptaFranz @OptaFranz

32 - @FCBayernEN have progressed in their last 32 DFB Pokal away games, a record in the competition. Wanderlust. #BOCFCB #FCBPokal https://t.co/jm5P0aYW0D

After criticising his players following the game, Kovac was also asked about who he thought the best supporters in Germany were, and he didn't choose the Bayern fans:

Ronan Murphy @swearimnotpaul

Niko Kovac claims Eintracht Frankfurt have the best fans in the Bundesliga. That'll go down well with Bayern Munich's fans who already want #KovacOut 🤦‍♂️ https://t.co/B2QknOZGdx

The campaign has been one of inconsistency for the Munich giants so far.

In the Bundesliga, they sit in second place in the table, having battled to an unconvincing 2-1 win over Union Berlin in their most recent top-flight encounter. They are a point behind leaders Borussia Monchengladbach after nine matches.

Overall, Bayern have been dependent on Lewandowski this season, and the Poland international has been sensational in front of goal. Without him at the point of the attack for the first half on Tuesday, the side struggled.

Per the Bayern Twitter account, Lewandowski has had a record-breaking start to the season:

FC Bayern English @FCBayernEN

Robert 'Record Breaker' Lewandowski 💥⚽ @lewy_official #LewanGOALski https://t.co/2QAGxDdWPG

Kovac will hope the stinging words will trigger a response from his players. After all, he knows they are capable of playing excellent football, as was the case earlier in the campaign when they were 7-2 winners over Tottenham Hotspur in the UEFA Champions League.

On Saturday, it's a trip to Frankfurt in the Bundesliga for Bayern, where you sense Kovac and the toiling champions will have a fiery reception waiting for them.