Kovac appointment demonstrates Monaco's ambition, says vice-president

By Sports Desk July 22, 2020

Niko Kovac's appointment as Monaco's new head coach is an important change that demonstrates the Ligue 1 club's ambition, according to vice-president Oleg Petrov.

Former Bayern Munich boss Kovac was named as Robert Moreno's successor on Sunday, eight months on from being sacked by the Bundesliga giants.

The 48-year-old won a domestic double in his first season at the Allianz Arena but his position became untenable following a disappointing first half to the 2019-20 campaign.

Kovac is now tasked with transforming the fortunes of Monaco, who finished ninth in a shortened Ligue 1 this term, and Petrov is confident he is the right man for the job.

"The arrival of Niko is a strong choice - it demonstrates our ambition," he said at a news conference on Tuesday. 

"It also demonstrates our willingness to do our utmost to achieve our goal, which is to make AS Monaco a successful club.

"It is an important change, one that is assumed, and aligned with the strategy of the club."

Kovac has penned a three-year deal at Stade Louis II and is joined in the dugout by brother Robert, Goran Lackovic, and Walter Gfrerer.

The appointment comes a month on from Paul Mitchell's arrival as sporting director, a position he also held at Kovac's former side Salzburg.

Mitchell joined Petrov in talking up the calibre of Monaco's fifth head coach in less than two years but warned it may be a time of transition for the principality club.

"We both worked in Germany, and for the Red Bull group," he told reporters. "We had never met before, but I was told about him.

"It's my job to analyse who is the best person available in the market to meet the challenge. I considered Niko to be the right person for the job.

"We have already considerably reduced the number of players under contract. The first team is around 40 players today, and not 60 as I had heard. 

"If you look at the numbers of the big European clubs, we are in the same range. 

"There are also a lot of young players who have signed their first professional contracts. This is something of which we are in control."

Kovac's first game in charge is Wednesday's friendly against Standard Liege, with Monaco set to get their Ligue 1 campaign underway at home to Reims on August 22.

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