Bayern Munich’s interim coach Hansi Flick got his first taste of how difficult it can be to navigate the media storm that constantly swirls around the club when his comments about Bayern’s need for “one or two” reinforcements, ideally at right-back and the wings, set the media buzzing and earned him a minor reprimand from sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic.
In a press conference held on board the team’s jet home, Flick explained that he meant no harm by his remarks. He said (Sport1),
I honestly stated my opinion. It is always about the club for me. We all have high goals and must create a basis to be able to reach these goals. The injury situation is not exhilarating. The winter window is there so that one can manage certain things somewhat. It was simply my wish to put it that way. The players will not see things differently, either.
He also attempted to defused the situation by declining to give any comment on Salihamidzic’s response to his call for signings. He said,
I would rather not comment on that or interpret it. It is simply down to the situation. I see my team and the club. That is my focus. I have no problem with that at all.
Flick stressed that Bayern’s squad, per se, is very high-quality, but he argued that the recurrent injuries suffered by Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry pose a significant risk, especially with respect to the club’s Champions League aspirations:
If everyone is fit and healthy, the squad has very high quality. We all know that a little luck is part of the Champions League. In terms of quality our team is very good. But it’s also clear that we are thin at a few positions, such as the flanks. Philippe Coutinho plays there and we all know that it’s not his favorite position. With Kingsley Coman, Serge Gnabry, and Ivan Perisic we have three players there, but Coman and Gnabry keeping dropping out because of their physical situation. That is a small, but maybe also a big risk.
Be that as it may, Flick praised Bayern’s medical staff for their unstinting — and unending — labors. He said,
I have to praise our medical division for the way they are handling all that. They are on the job from morning to late in the evening. We have tremendous quality in our medical division.