Two weeks after having arrived in the Principality Niko Kovac knows his squad a little better now. After making his first impressions at La Turbie and leading a five-day training camp in Poland, the new coach of the Red and Whites was able to manage a second friendly match from the bench. It was a return to Frankfurt, the club which he saved from relegation in 2016 before winning the German Cup (2018) and giving the Eintracht fans a place in European competition.
— AS Monaco 🇲🇨 (@AS_Monaco) August 1, 2020
“With Paul, we will show that it was the right method”
“Everyone I have known here and who played under him (Haller, Fallette, Gelson Fernandes in particular) told me he was a very good coach. He has a very good image here in Germany,” as was confirmed to us by Almamy Touré before the match, which ended in a draw (1-1). In an interview with the newspaper L’Équipe this Sunday, the coach of AS Monaco says in any case that he is there to build: “I signed a three-year contract, Paul Mitchell four, it shows that a process is taking place. ( …) I know that in football we don’t have time. But in our case, we have it and we will show that it was the right method”.
At the head of a group of 22 years of average age at Opalenica, the former Croatian international (83 caps, 15 goals) was enthusiastic about the idea of working again with young talents, surrounded by elements of experience. “Being on the pitch is my life. The titles are important but I am so happy to see former players that I had with the Croatian U-21s (2013) or the Salzburg reserve team (2009-2011) do well in their careers, “said Niko Kovac.
Two months to boost the team
A product of his work with Giovanni Trapattoni, the last coach of his career in Salzburg (2006-2008), and by Ottmar Hitzfeld at Bayern Munich (2001-2003), the former coach of the German champion then admitted that he has been inspired by the great coaches he knew during his playing career. And that he himself would be demanding on the job, but fair in his choices: “All players are able to join the team. Show me that you are the best, and you will play.”
Niko Kovac, who is giving himself “two months” with his staff to boost the team’s physical strength, still has three weeks ahead of him to prepare for Reims’ visit to the Stade Louis II, for the kick-off of the 2020-2021 season.
Read the full interview here.