Niko Kovac has praised Bayern Munich winger Kingsley Coman for his instant impact last weekend following a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Kingsley Coman instantly showed he can give Bayern Munich "another dimension" on his return to first-team action, according to boss Niko Kovac. France winger Coman suffered torn ankle ligaments in Bayern's Bundesliga opener against Hoffenheim back in August and returned to the bench for last weekend's trip to Werder Bremen.
An injury to Franck Ribéry thrust the 22-year-old into action much earlier than planned but he turned in an enterprising display as a goal in each half from Serge Gnabry sealed a 2-1 win.
Great boost to have Coman back
"It's nice that he has come back after a little more than three months and a serious injury," Kovac told a news conference ahead of Saturday's Bavarian derby against Nurnberg. "He was not intended [to play against] Bremen, at least not for 55 or 60 minutes but rather to get 10 or 15. It came as it came and he has done very well."
The unplanned workload endured by Coman resulted in a tailored plan for his training schedule this week. "If you do not play for three months and then come in, you will of course get an adrenaline rush - that works," Kovac explained. "But he really felt it, the next two days on the ropes. That's why we took him out on Tuesday and Wednesday and we'll continue to build him up step by step. You've already seen in Bremen that he's one we've lacked and he certainly takes us to another dimension in attack."
Win ends negative run
In Coman's absence, Kovac has endured a turbulent first few months as Bayern head coach. The win in Bremen snapped a slump of three games without a win in the Bundesliga and they remain nine points behind leaders Borussia Dortmund in fourth.
Kovac's position came under scrutiny as prominent members of the Bayern hierarchy lined up to give him public backing – something that inadvertently painted a rather ominous picture. Nevertheless the former Croatia international insists he is glad of the experience.
"A person, if he is willing, learns until he dies," he said. "I'm one who tries to learn every day and these five months at Bayern were very instructive. I have seen and observed many things. I have thought and made my conclusions. Time has left a lasting impression, which I will also use for my future. It was a results crisis but you can take something out of it and I would be stupid not to take anything from it. On the one hand it's not nice when it does [happen], but in every bad thing there is also something good."