Julian Nagelsmann dismissed any suggestion that Thomas Muller's omission against RB Leipzig hints that the forward's Bayern Munich future is uncertain.
Muller came on in the 83rd minute as Bayern drew 1-1 with Leipzig on Friday.
The 33-year-old has struggled with injuries this season and has played only nine Bundesliga games.
Muller also failed to spark at the World Cup, as Germany crashed out in the group stage.
Nagelsmann, though, says the media has made too much of Muller being a substitute.
"With Thomas, this is a bigger topic in public than it is for us," he told reporters ahead of Tuesday's clash with Koln.
"When you've been injured for so long, you're always challenging [for your place].
"Thomas also wants the competition. He has an outstanding character, but I haven't made up my mind about if he plays."
Muller could not get Bayern over the line against Leipzig, with the champions having struggled to create much in the way of opportunities in the second half at Red Bull Arena.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting put them ahead late in the first half, netting Bayern's 50th Bundesliga goal of the campaign, before Marcel Halstenberg equalised, but Nagelsmann wants more intensity in attack.
He said: "We didn't build up optimally, it was too slow. We sometimes had good actions after winning the ball, but we made wrong decisions.
"I also warned the team beforehand about Leipzig's strength in transition... There were one or two less-than-perfect situations on both sides."
Koln, on the other hand, go into Tuesday's game having thrashed Werder Bremen 7-1.
"I think the seven goals mean something more to Koln than to us," Nagelsmann said. "They do that very well, they're active and good at counter-pressing.
"[Coach] Steffen Baumgart does that very well. They always play with an open mind, very offensive. We have to be aggressive."