Bayern Munich's Niko Kovac: I'm not clueless, and bad run is a phase

Niko Kovac has said he is not "clueless" after the club's winless run extended to three matches following the Champions League draw at home to Ajax.

Bayern have also drawn with Augsburg and lost to Hertha Berlin, with Borussia Dortmund overtaking them at the top of the Bundesliga, and reports in Germany have claimed Kovac is losing the faith of some of his stars.

But speaking at a news conference ahead of the weekend match against Borussia Monchengladbach, he said: "Just because a coach does not get out the clubs after a match, but instead focuses on what he says, that's not an indicator of cluelessness.

"I will definitely not start lashing out a player, no matter which player. It's my player. A coach should not stir up headlines after a match."

Bayern president Uli Hoeness has said the coach "is putting his neck on the line" for rotating his players, comments Kovac described as "an observation rather than criticism."

He added: "You always have pressure at Bayern. We want to beat Gladbach. Pressure can be helpful, and maybe we missed that after [winning] our first seven matches. Maybe they allayed our alertness.

"Football is not easy to explain. Right now, everything is running against us, but things will surely change again.

"It's only a phase we are going through right now. Every team must go through it in a season. The only question is when it starts and how long it lasts."

James Rodriguez is reportedly not happy with his current situation at Bayern, and German newspaper Bild claimed he had said it was a pity Kovac was not still at his old club Frankfurt.

Kovac played down that report, calling James "an extraordinary player who is important," but said: "I can't play with 12 players. We only have top players, and he will play as much as all the others."