Niko Kovač: “Attacking is art, defending is craft. But even if you’re an artist, you have to want to defend as well.”

Ahead of Bayern Munich vs Borussia Dortmund, head coach Niko Kovač discussed Wednesday’s DFB Pokal game, Bayern Munich’s defence, France winning the World Cup and his injury list ahead of Der Klassiker during his pre-match press conference.

Kovač on Bayern Munich 5-4 FC Heidenheim: 

“The red card certainly caused us problems but we corrected things in the second half. What annoyed me was that we allowed Heidenheim to get back into the game. It wasn’t all negative. You have to find a balance. The positive was that we still won, we also made mistakes. In the end, we came back despite being a man down.”

Kovač on France’s tactics at the World Cup:

“France won the World cup because they played well but also defended well, N’Golo Kanté played the most important role and it’s same with Real Madrid in the Champions League. Titles are decided at the back. Maybe we are missing that type of player but we will look for him and find him.”

Kovač on Bayern Munich’s defence:

“We have to defend as a team. You have to want to do it. Attacking is art, defending is craft. But even if you’re an artist, you have to want to defend as well. Defending is the easiest thing for a coach, but it’s about whether a player is willing to put it into practice. We have to question ourselves. We conceded 43 goals in 40 competitive games, that’s not good enough. Defending doesn’t start with defenders, it starts earlier.”

Kovač on his injury list ahead of Borussia Dortmund game:

“Arjen Robben and Alphonso Davies will not play. David Alaba resumed training and looked good, James Rodriguez has a slight adductor problem and Robert Lewandowski is a bit sick. We will make a decision on Manuel Neuer at the weekend.”


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