Bayern Munich defender Joshua Kimmich has praised teammate Thomas Muller for his ability to motivate the side, even when the attacker is not on the pitch.
Bayern's Champions League tie with AEK Athens on Tuesday marked the first time in eight years that Muller has started two consecutive matches as a substitute, but Bayern's vice-captain still played a huge role in keeping his teammates motivated.
"Everyone knows that he wants to play here. But he always spurs us on, always has a saying up his sleeve. It’s really phenomenal of him."
However, Muller was keen to avoid discussing under-pressure coach Niko Kovac and simply bring attention back to the performance of the team. He said: "We only had one change today. But it’s more important for us as a team that we talk about the games. It doesn’t do us any good if we open up some kind of discussion panel here."
Kovac has found himself under a huge amount of pressure as a result of Bayern's lacklustre start to the season. However, recent results have helped guide Bayern to fourth place in the Bundesliga, and they remain undefeated in the Champions League following the 2-0 victory over AEK Athens.
Muller will likely return to the lineup in the near future as Bayern face a busy period of five matches over the next two weeks. However, with Kovac seemingly preferring a 4-3-3 formation, there is no space for an attacking midfielder, which is Muller's preferred role.
Instead, he will be required to rotate with the likes of James Rodriguez and Leon Goretzka in a deeper role. He has featured in this position already under Kovac, but it seems as though Muller's role in the team could be set to change over the coming season.