By Klaus Bergmann, dpa
Munich (dpa) – Hansi Flick will remain Bayern Munich coach until the end of the season, and possibly longer, the Bundesliga champions confirmed on Sunday.
Former Germany assistant coach Flick joined Bayern as assistant of Niko Kovac in summer and became interim coach when Bayern and Kovac parted ways in November after a 5-1 defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt.
The seven-time reigning champions Bayern have regained stability under the guidance of the 54-year-old Flick and entered the winter break in third place, four points behind leaders RB Leipzig.
After managing a quick turnaround with victories including a 4-0 over league rivals Borussia Dortmund, Bayern soon committed to Flick until the winter break which he entered with eight wins and two defeats from 10 games.
A meeting after Saturday’s 2-0 against Wolfsburg, between Flick, sports director Hasan Salihamidzic and chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge then led to the latest deal.
Bayern’s results in the second half of the season will then likely decide Flick’s further fate – the assistant coach deal was until 2021 – as Bayern said in a statement that continuing with him “beyond this time is explicitly a viable option.”
Players have repeatedly praised Flick for his tactics, and the team also overcame recent setbacks against Bayer Leverkusen and Hoffenheim with victories against Freiburg and Wolfsburg – with teenager Joshua Zirkzee scoring the deciding late goals on both occasions after coming on in his first two top flight showings.
“We at FC Bayern are very satisfied with Hansi Flick’s work. Under him as head coach, the on-field development has been outstanding, both in terms of the quality of our play and the results achieved,” Rummenigge said.
“I am convinced that FC Bayern will continue next year where we left off in the last few games, namely playing attractive and successful football.”
Salihamidzic said: “The fact that our players have been so convincing in the past few weeks in terms of their play and character shows we are on the right track with Hansi Flick at the head of the coaching team.
“Hansi deserves our trust. I am convinced we can achieve our sporting goals with him, whether in the Bundesliga, the DFB Cup or the Champions League.”
Bayern will be ready to attack Leipzig in the second half of the season and in the Champions League are drawn to play Chelsea in the last 16, after winning all six games in the group stage for the first time.
“I’m happy that FC Bayern is continuing to place trust in me as head coach. I really enjoy working with the team and the coaching team,” Flick said.
“We have achieved a good starting position for the second half of the season … Now we’re recharging our batteries, and we’ll prepare ourselves intensively for the second half of the season at the training camp. Then we’ll try to achieve as many victories and titles as possible.”
Flick is a former Bayern player 1985-1990, winning four league and one German cup title. He was assistant coach of Joachim Loew when Germany won the 2014 World Cup.