MUNICH, GERMANY (AFP) – Bayern Munich head coach Hansi Flick said he is willing to grant Philippe Coutinho time to rediscover his best form after finding himself relegated to the bench behind Thomas Mueller in recent weeks.
The Brazilian playmaker hasn’t scored since bagging a hat-trick against Werder Bremen in mid-December, and was restricted to substitute appearances in Bayern’s past two Bundesliga matches.
Flick believes Coutinho, who has scored seven goals in 26 appearances while on loan at Bayern following a difficult spell at Barcelona, is feeling frustrated.
“I don’t think that he is happy with his current performances,” Flick said of Coutinho.
“He’s one of our players and he needs some help, which is what he will get.
“I am convinced he can still help us, but we will have to be patient. There is a dip in form in every career and it’s not easy to break into an established team.”
Leaders Bayern take on RB Leipzig tonight in a clash of the Bundesliga’s top two, offering Flick another chance to press his case for staying in the job beyond the end of this season.
Flick replaced Niko Kovac in a caretaker capacity last November. He was then put in charge for the remainder of the campaign after a string of promising results.
Club President Herbert Hainer recently said they were seeking “no other alternative” for the time being.
“I am pleased that he sees me in a positive light,” said Flick.
“I am happy with the way things are going and am not giving any thought to what will happen in the next year.
“It’s so much fun for me to work for this club and with this great squad.”