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Bayern chairman defends keeping coach Niko Kovac on his toes

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.

More AP German soccer coverage: https://apnews.com/Bundesliga and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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