Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac does not believe RB Leipzig get the respect they deserve.
Bundesliga leaders Bayern face Leipzig at the Red Bull Arena on Saturday, with a win enough to end the challenge of Borussia Dortmund and seal a seventh straight title.
Ralf Rangnick’s side will also be the Bavarian giants’ opponents in the DFB-Pokal final on May 25, as Kovac hunts a domestic double in his first season at the Allianz Arena.
The former Eintracht Frankfurt coach believes too much negativity is aimed at Leipzig, with the ownership of the club – who are third in the Bundesliga and have secured a return to next season’s Champions League – still criticised in Germany.
“There’s a lot of structure behind it, there are a lot of clubs that have money, no matter where they get it,” Kovac told a news conference.
“Everything else about the club is always seen as too negative. Why can’t we even acknowledge something positive?
“We are not talking about any team, but a very good team with a very good coach.”
The title is in Bayern’s hands, but Kovac – who confirmed Manuel Neuer will not be fit to feature on Saturday – has warned his side against complacency, citing the Champions League semi-final comebacks by Liverpool and Tottenham.
The Bavarian giants hold a four-point lead over Dortmund in the German top flight, with two matches of the 2018-19 campaign remaining.
“Anything less than success is a failure, I know that these 10 months were very educational, very intense, and if it was a little quieter at times, it would not be so bad,” Kovac continued.
“Believing we have won the championship is not a sure thing. The last two nights have shown that anything is possible in football.
“We’ve worked for a long time on how to approach these kinds of situations. We were nine points and plenty of goals behind. Now we can take the decisive step and win the title.”