After they failed to win for the third successive game, Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac had some sharp words for his side. Following the 1-1 draw with Ajax, Kovac wants his men to start doing the simple things again.
He may have only been in charge for a few months, but that's long enough for Niko Kovac to know that the hot seat at Bayern Munich gets warm quicker than most.
After winning his first seven games, the former Eintracht Frankfurt boss has seen his side labor to home draws with Augsburg and Ajax and lose to Hertha Berlin in the space of a week. All three are games Bayern were heavy favorites to win.
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Following Tuesday's performance, where Bayern were lethargic, leggy and lucky to escape with a point, the 46-year-old decided his players needed to learn from their youthful Dutch visitors.
Bayern must learn from their visitors
"We must go back to the basics, get stuck into the duels, play fewer bad passes and let the ball flow," Kovac said.
"Our opponent showed us how to do it. Now we have to look to display our face again, which saw us to wins in the first seven games of the season."
Bayern took an early lead through Mats Hummels before Noussair Mazraoui was given far too much space to equalize, the latest in a string of shoddy defensive errors from the German champions.
"It's not what we imagined, that's not what I personally imagined, and this was certainly not a good match for us," Kovac told reporters as he criticized the performance.
"We played negatively, our opponent was first to every second ball, we just played too many bad passes, we wanted too much, too fast in the build-up and so lose the ball and then confidence."
Big test lies ahead
The assertion that Bayern were too quick in their play will likely puzzle some fans, with Bayern often looking ponderous in their recent run.
While their European fate remains in their own hands, their home fixture with Borussia Mönchengladbach in the Bundesliga on Saturday suddenly looks a stern examination. Their visitors could leapfrog the Bavarians with a win and, with an international break to follow, Bayern will go a month without a victory if they fail to win on Saturday.
"A total of two points from our last three games is not enough, but our luck will come back around," said goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who saved his side several times on Wednesday.
Kovac doesn't seem convinced that Bayern's problem is a lack of fortune. And after his players failed to heed his first warning, he'll expect a change in attitude, and result, come the weekend.