MX23RW : Thursday, March 21 12:46:33

Result: Bayern manager Niko Kovac rejects suggestion of dressing room disharmony

The German giants have gone three games without a win.

Niko Kovac insists Bayern Munich are unified despite a three-match winless run that has dropped them to second in both the Bundesliga and their Champions League group.

Kovac is coming under scrutiny amid the poor form that continued with the midweek home draw with Ajax, while reports in Germany point to player unrest to the extent that James Rodriguez wants to leave the club.

Victory over Borussia Mönchengladbach at the Allianz Arena would settle the nerves and Kovac disputes the suggestions of disharmony.

“The atmosphere in the dressing room is a positive one,” the Croatian coach said.

“Some are of course disappointed not to play, and we’re also disappointed with recent results. Nevertheless, there is a real sense of unity in the team.

“When you’re playing for Bayern Munich, there’s always pressure. You always have to win, so nothing is different going into this game.”

Kovac has indicated he will make changes, although central defender Mats Hummels is available despite being cut during a collision against Ajaz.

Brazilian Rafinha remains sidelined, however, as he continues his recovery from an ankle problem.

“We need to have some fresh legs on the pitch and avoid picking up any more injuries,” Kovac said.

“We’re playing every three days. That alone is demanding, and our opponents are playing with a lot of intensity too.

“Hummels has been to the neurologist and given the green light. He has trained with the team again today (Friday) and will be in the squad tomorrow.”

James, the Colombian attacking midfielder on loan from Real Madrid, is said to be unhappy at serving as a peripheral figure in recent weeks, but Kovak made light of the reports that he wants to leave.

“We have a lot of international players. There will always be cases where one player plays and another doesn’t,” Kovac said.

“James is a player of extraordinary quality and is important for the club. He showed that against Schalke, against Benfica, and then against Ajax when he came on.

“He’s proved that several times, but I can’t play with 12 men. He will play as many games as others.”

Mönchengladbach sit fourth in the table after making their best start to the season for 11 years and coach Dieter Hecking is eager to continue that run at the Allianz Arena.

“The desire for a victory will be very great at Bayern,” said Hecking, who revealed that Lars Stindl could make his comeback from a long-term ankle injury.

“We want to act courageously and passionately and repeat everything that we have already shown this season. We know that the away game in Munich is one of the toughest of the season.”

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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool31237170185276
2Manchester CityMan City30242479215874
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs30201957322561
4Arsenal30186663392460
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd30177658401858
6Chelsea30176750331757
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves30128103836244
8Watford30127114244-243
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham31126134146-542
10Leicester CityLeicester31125144043-341
11Everton31117134342140
12Bournemouth31115154356-1338
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3198143140-935
14Crystal Palace3096153641-533
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2996143242-1033
16Southampton3079143450-1630
17Burnley3186173559-2430
18Cardiff CityCardiff3084182757-3028
19Fulham3145222970-4117
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield3135231857-3914

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