Bay­ern will try to turn the cor­ner

Trip to Dort­mund will not be easy one

Sowetan - - Dipapadi -

Ber­lin – Cham­pi­ons Bay­ern Mu­nich are un­usu­ally with their backs to the wall as they travel to Bun­desliga lead­ers Borus­sia Dort­mund to­mor­row, with coach Niko Ko­vac quickly run­ning out of time.

The Bavar­i­ans, who have won the last six league ti­tles in dom­i­nant fash­ion, have been far from im­pres­sive this sea­son, ly­ing in third place on 20 points, four off lead­ers Dort­mund.

Their ner­vous 2-0 win over min­nows AEK Athens in the Cham­pi­ons League on Wed­nes­day may have edged them closer to the knock­out stage but it was fur­ther proof of their dip in form and their la­bo­ri­ous style of play un­der the Croat.

“We know we need to im­prove for the match in Dort­mund,” Ko­vac said. “At the mo­ment we are miss­ing flu­ency and light­ness in our game. We cur­rently seem to have to earn ev­ery­thing with a lot of hard work. Ob­vi­ously it is Dort­mund who are the favourites as they also play at home. We just need to look at the ta­ble and that clearly says: four points dif­fer­ence.”

Ko­vac, in his first sea­son in charge, has so far failed to make the most of his squad’s depth of tal­ent as they strug­gle for form amid re­port­edly grow­ing dis­sent in the chang­ing rooms.

Club bosses have an­grily at­tacked me­dia for un­fair re­port­ing but one in­di­ca­tion of that dis­sent was the sharp crit­i­cism of Ko­vac on so­cial me­dia dur­ing last week’s 1-1 draw against Freiburg by mid­fielder Thomas Mueller’s wife.

She later apol­o­gised to the coach for com­ment­ing that he fi­nally had his first “brain­wave” when he brought on Mueller as a sub­sti­tute against Freiburg.

But by that time it was clear to ev­ery­one all was not well in the Bay­ern chang­ing room.

“You may laugh but the at­mos­phere in the team is very good,” Ko­vac said.

“That things keep coming out does not only hap­pen at Bay­ern. I do not like it and I want it to stop.”

But he knows any­thing other than vic­tory at Dort­mund is un­likely to stop any talk of a cri­sis. A loss would leave them seven points adrift. – Reuters

/ AFP / CHRISTOF STACHE

Bay­ern Mu­nich’s for­ward Thomas Mueller tries to beat AEK’s Kostas Galanopou­los.

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