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What Jupp Heynckes thinks about Niko Kovac

Jupp Heynckes has given successor Niko Kovac a vote of confidence ahead of Saturday’s game against Borussia Monchengladbach.

Former Bayern player Kovac was named on Friday as the man who will take over from interim boss Heynckes in July.

The Croatian is currently boss of Eintracht Frankfurt, but will leave that position at the end of the season.

‘Kovac generally makes a very positive impression,’ Heynckes said. ‘Above all, he is very diligent, which you do not always have.

‘He is innovative, he is one who loves football and also has good communication with his players [which] I have also experienced.’

Asked about Kovac’s lack of managerial experience in the Champions League, Heynckes added: ‘He was a Champions League player himself and when I came to Munich in 1987 from Monchengladbach, I was very young and inexperienced. It’s a good choice, it will work.’

Bayern secured a sixth straight Bundesliga title last week, but Heynckes added: ‘We will not let up in the league, I have great ambitions to win the game tomorrow.’

David Alaba could return after a back injury, while Javi Martinez, Rafinha, Robert Lewandowski and James Rodriguez are available after suffering minor injuries against Sevilla.

Borussia Monchengladbach head coach Dieter Hecking insists his team will not settle for limiting the damage against the champions.

‘The team is excited for the game,’ Hecking told the club’s website. ‘It’s always enjoyable to measure yourselves against the best team in the league. Games against Bayern are always special. You have nothing to lose. We have to approach the game with this attitude.

‘When 8,000 fans are travelling to Munich, it shows the historic importance of this clash. It’s special for the fans and it’s a milestone 100th duel between the two sides. Maybe we can make it an even more special day by taking something from the game.

‘Sitting back in Munich doesn’t work as many teams have discovered. We’re not travelling there to simply come back without embarrassing ourselves. That’s not my style and would be the completely wrong mentality. In football, you always have a chance as you saw in the Champions League in midweek.’

Hecking will be without the services of Patrick Herrmann after the winger suffered an ankle injury in training this week, while captain Lars Stindl is suspended.

 

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