Bayern chairman defends keeping coach Niko Kovac on his toes


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MUNICH (AP) — Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says he didn't mean to harm Niko Kovac when he consistently failed to back the coach before the team won a domestic double.

Rummenigge tells Der Spiegel magazine in an interview that he "didn't want to hurt him. I just wanted to get everyone focused on our common goals."

Before Bayern won both the Bundesliga and German Cup titles, Rummenigge was non-committal when pressed on Kovac's future as coach, even warning that "at Bayern Munich, players, management and coaches have to deliver."

The 63-year-old Rummenigge tells Spiegel he "very deliberately polarized in public and tried to provide a counterpoint with my statements. Both the coach and the team were to understand that we hadn't won anything yet."

Kovac has another two years on his contract with Bayern.

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