Kovac admits future in doubt after Bayern's worst loss in 10 years
Berlin (AFP) –
Niko Kovac admitted his future as Bayern Munich coach hung in the balance Saturday after a 5-1 thrashing at Eintracht Frankfurt -- the club's heaviest Bundesliga defeat for 10 years.
Bayern are now four points behind leaders Moenchengladbach after their biggest league loss since a humiliating 5-1 drubbing in April 2009 at Wolfsburg.
That defeat a decade ago eventually cost Jurgen Klinsmann his job as boss and Kovac could face a similar fate as Frankfurt shredded 10-man Bayern after defender Jerome Boateng was sent off in the ninth minute.
Kovac has been in charge since June 2018, winning the league and cup double last season, but could only offer a glum "I don't know" when asked about his gut feeling concerning the future.
"I know how this business works -- I am not naive.
"My feeling is not important, the ones who make the decisions are the ones you have to ask at the end of the day," he added with club president Uli Hoeness and chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge sure to be discussing his future.
"After the red card, everything went out the window. Nevertheless, that shouldn't have happened to us and it's not what we expect from ourselves. We made too many mistakes."
The 48-year-old said he would process "the solid defeat" on the journey home and would "get angry and disappointed on the bus to Munich".
However, he also weathered a difficult opening few months of last season to eventually win the league and cup double.
"I didn't give up then and I won't give up now," Kovac added defiantly.
Goals by Filip Kostic, Djibril Sow, David Abraham and Martin Hinteregger put Frankfurt 4-1 up with an hour played.
Robert Lewandowski scored for Bayern in the first half, extending his league record of scoring in the first 10 games this season.
However, such was Frankfurt's dominance that head coach Adi Huetter brought on a third striker in Andre Silva for defensive midfielder Gelson Fernandes with 10 minutes left.
The bold move paid off as Paciencia added their fifth goal five minutes from time.
- 'Not a huge wonder' -
"It's not a huge wonder (that this happened)," fumed Bayern captain Manuel Neuer. "Things had already got off to a (bad) start."
"That (the red card) didn't make it any easier, of course, but still you can't concede five. We're not consistent in our defence."
Neuer expects the next few days to be "very restless" at Bayern, who host Olympiakos on Wednesday in the Champions League, then second-placed Borussia Dortmund next Saturday at the Allianz Arena in a classic Bundesliga showdown.
After a shock 2-1 loss at home to Hoffenheim last month, Bayern suffered a second league defeat of the season which came following Boateng's sending off for felling Frankfurt forward Goncalo Paciencia on the edge of the area.
Kostic tapped home at the back post to open the scoring for the hosts on 25 minutes and Swiss midfielder Sow added a second eight minutes later from a Kostic cross.
Lewandowski brought his side back into the game eight minutes before the break when he bludgeoned his way through three defenders to fire home his 20th goal this season in all competitions.
His 14th league goal also extended his record of scoring in each of the first 10 Bundesliga games this season.
However, Frankfurt were not to be denied and defender Abraham hit their third goal after a pin-point accurate pass from winger Danny da Costa three minutes after the restart.
A fourth goal followed when defender Hinteregger headed home from a corner on the hour.
Gladbach are three points clear at the top of the table after French striker Marcus Thuram scored their winner at Leverkusen.
Dortmund climbed to second as goals by Raphael Guerreiro, Thorgan Hazard and Mario Goetze sealed a 3-0 win at home to Wolfsburg, who dropped from fourth to seventh.
RB Leipzig are a point behind in third after routing Mainz 8-0 with Germany striker Timo Werner scoring a hat-trick.
Freiburg drop to fifth despite Nils Petersen stealing a point in the last minute with his second of the game in their 2-2 draw at Werder Bremen.
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