VfL Wolfsburg trainer Niko Kovac - among other things - covered the topic of his recent personnel choices at a Monday presser.
|Photo: Werner100359, CC BY-SA 4.0
"We are in a meritocracy," Kovac said, "And if Aster does well, I can't explain to him that he'll be out again in the next game. Then he'll be angry, so Max is probably angry at the moment. Which is okay. If Aster continues to play like that, than I have no alternative. Every player has a chance to offer himself in training. The coach decides on the lineup and everyone has to respect that. You have to wait for your chance if you fall behind."
Kovac also spoke on another new addition to his starting XI. Versatile American attacker Kevin Paredes - after making just one start for Kovac last year - has featured in the XI on the last two league match days. The Riding, Virginia native was instrumental in a VfL goal scored last week against Augsburg and netted his second Bundesliga goal in Sunday's draw.
Paredes' integration in the XI has much to do with the absence of Patrick Wimmer due to injury, but Kovac wanted to make certain that the 20-year-old's inclusion was absolutely also merit based. Paredes had, until recently, been used almost exclusively by Kovac as a spark plug off the bench.
"Kevin is an asset to our team thanks to his enthusiasm for the game," Kovac said of the youngster, "No matter which position he plays in, whether it's on the wing, at left back in the back three or at number eight. I'm delighted with this development and he's not an American international for nothing. He will continue to get his chance. If he continues to train so well and work hard, I can see a good future for him."