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 suffering a 5-1 thrashing at Eintracht Frankfurt -- the club's heaviest Bundesliga defeat in a decade.
Bayern are now four points behind leaders Moenchengladbach after their biggest league loss since a humiliating drubbing at Wolfsburg by the same scoreline in April 2009.
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," he said, with club president Uli Hoeness and chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge sure to be discussing his future.
"My feeling is not important, the ones who make the decisions are the ones you have to ask at the end of the day.
"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 Goncalo Paciencia added their fifth goal five minutes from time.
- Union win Berlin derby -
Bayern captain Manuel 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.
Gladbach are three points clear at the top of the table after French striker Marcus Thuram scored their winner in a 2-1 away victory at Leverkusen.
Dortmund, who host Inter Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday, 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.
Werner said Bayern's heavy defeat proved there is plenty of drama in the German league this season despite the Bavarian giants winning seven straight league titles.
"With Frankfurt brushing past Bayern 5-1 at home and Gladbach proving themselves at Leverkusen, it shows this season is fun," said Werner.
"It has been very boring (in the league) for years, but now four to five teams are doing well and I'm glad we're part of it."
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.
Union Berlin later earned bragging rights in the capital as striker Sebastian Polter converted a 90th-minute penalty to seal a tense 1-0 win in the derby against Hertha Berlin.
After Union's promotion last season, this was Berlin's first Bundesliga derby in the top tier since German reunification in 1990.
In an emotional tie at Union's Alten Foersterei, the referee marched both teams off for six minutes at the start of the second-half after fireworks landed on the pitch.
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