Coutinho 'on the right track', says Bayern Munich coach Flick

By Sports Desk December 13, 2019

Bayern Munich coach Hansi Flick is confident Philippe Coutinho is "on the right track" after getting on the scoresheet in the midweek win over Tottenham.

Coutinho's impact at the Allianz Arena has been questioned since arriving on loan from Barcelona at the start of the season.

The Brazil international has scored four goals and provided five assists in 19 games for Bayern, who are seventh in the Bundesliga.

One of those goals came in Wednesday's 3-1 Champions League victory against Tottenham, with Coutinho earning praise from stand-in boss Flick for his display.

"He played very well against Tottenham. It was important for him to do so," Flick said at his pre-match news conference ahead of Saturday's home clash with Werder Bremen.

"He is in a very good way and is on the right track. It's not easy to come to Germany and get a foothold straight away. He will show his quality again."

Coutinho could be used on the left wing against Bremen due to the absence of Kingsley Coman, who has been ruled out with a knee injury.

Alphonso Davies is also in contention to play in that position, but Flick is keeping his options open.

Asked whether Coutinho is in line to start, he said: "We will see.

"I have been very satisfied with Alphonso. He has done very well defensively. His pace makes him an asset for us at the back. 

"He is also very strong on the ball. I really like his development."

Bayern are also without Javi Martinez, Corentin Tolisso, Jann-Fiete Arp, Lucas Hernandez, Niklas Sule and Michael Cuisance for the visit of Bremen.

The reigning Bundesliga champions are seven points adrift of leaders Borussia Monchengladbach and Flick has acknowledged his side cannot afford another off day this weekend.

"We need to approach the game with focus. They can surprise us if we're not at 100 per cent," he said.

"We want to end the year with three wins. It's not easy, but that's the target we have set ourselves. Not everything is perfect. You can never achieve perfection.

"We have to work better together, put pressure on the opponent early on. We have a lot of possession, but it is important to avoid losing the ball in dangerous areas."

Related items

  • Dortmund's 15-year-old prodigy Moukoko wanted in first team by Favre Dortmund's 15-year-old prodigy Moukoko wanted in first team by Favre

    Youssoufa Moukoko has proven prolific in Borussia Dortmund's youth ranks and head coach Lucien Favre wants to promote the 15-year-old striker to the first team.

    The Dortmund prodigy was selected for duty with Germany Under-19s last week, returning to the international fold after making his U16 bow at the age of 12.

    Moukoko, who turned 15 in November, scored 50 goals and supplied nine assists in 28 appearances as BVB finished as runners-up in the U17 Bundesliga last season and has maintained his stunning form at U19 level.

    He has netted 31 times in 18 league outings and has another four in seven in the UEFA Youth League.

    Ahead of Dortmund's Bundesliga meeting with Freiburg on Saturday, Favre revealed he hopes to have Moukoko involved with the first team before the end of the season.

    "We have a plan with him, but I can't say exactly when he'll be with us," said Favre on Thursday. "Maybe in March, but we still have to wait for a few things."

    Moukoko could make his bow for Germany U19s in a European Championship qualifier against Wales on March 25. They play Austria three days later and Serbia on March 31.

    Nuri Sahin became Dortmund's youngest player at 16 years, 11 months and one day when he made his debut in August 2005.

  • Anything can happen in El Clasico – former Real Madrid captain Hierro Anything can happen in El Clasico – former Real Madrid captain Hierro

    Anything can happen when Real Madrid host Barcelona in El Clasico on Sunday, according to Fernando Hierro. 

    Barca head into the clash at the Santiago Bernabeu top of LaLiga, having capitalised on Madrid drawing with Celta Vigo and losing to Levante in their previous two matches to go two points clear. 

    Following a 2-1 home loss in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie with Manchester City on Wednesday, Zinedine Zidane's side have won just one of their past five games in all competitions. 

    While the form book therefore suggests Barca have the upper hand, Hierro – a five-time LaLiga and three-time Champions League winner with Madrid – believes it is impossible to anticipate the outcome of any match between the clubs. 

    "The most important thing, given the rivalry, is the joy everyone feels: the club, the fans. And how it really gives you a boost. But anything can happen in El Clasico, as we've seen," said Hierro, courtesy of LaLiga. 

    "We lost when we were LaLiga champions, we lost at home when we virtually had LaLiga wrapped up, we've won in Barcelona when nobody expected us to. There are no guarantees in El Clasico. 

    "The standings don't matter; your form doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if you're top of the table, or if you're LaLiga champions. 

    "They're special games. Anything can happen, and that's fantastic." 

  • Former Waterhouse, Jamaica player Irvino English shot dead on Ash Wednesday Former Waterhouse, Jamaica player Irvino English shot dead on Ash Wednesday

    Former Reggae Boy and Waterhouse midfielder, Irvino English, was killed in a drive-by shooting in Waterhouse on Wednesday night.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.