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Sports

Felix Magath in hot water after back-to-back losses

Veteran Bundesliga coach Felix Magath is under fire after a early season that sees his Wolfsburg squad at risk of dropping to the second division. In light of the criticism, Magath says he can turn things around.

After successive losses and the looming danger of dropping from the division, some angry Wolfsburg fans have called for coach Felix Magath to be sacked.

However, the coach himself is looking to halt the slide toward the bottom. "After the 2-0 defeat, we have got to listen to the criticism," said Magath after the match against Freiburg. "I can absolutely understand the fans' displeasure, which is correct because nobody can be satisfied after a performance like that."

The Wolves’ loss at home to Freiburg on Saturday is the fourth match in a row in which they have failed to put points on the board. The club has only managed to score twice in eight league games this season.

Magath's squad is currently ranked last in the Bundesliga - a woeful position considering they were the 2009 Bundesliga champions.

"All we can do now is move on to the next game and the next points to get away from the bottom," said Magath, who has managed seven teams in all.

The 59-year-old was the coach of Wolfsburg from 2007 until 2009, and there led them to victory. He moved on to Schalke, but returned to the Wolves in March 2011.

Pricey and disappointing over all

Since his return, Magath has failed to turn the club around. He has employed a hire-and-fire management style that has resulted in high spending, but to no avail.

Within 18 months, he has spent 70 million euros ($91 million) on new signings and this season has used 21 different players from an already large 32-member squad.

Magath's high-quality team includes names like Diego, Ivica Olic and Naldo, but the side has performed disappointingly so far.

Wolfsburg midfielder Thomas Kahlenberg put the team's crisis in perspective: "We have good individual players, but we don't have good chemistry."

Defender Naldo added: "It's a nightmare. We're not playing together; some players didn't even want to have the ball."

If this sort of dynamic isn't already a recipe for chaos, Magath is also known to employ unexpected tactical changes and differing line-ups.

Magath backed by the board

Despite a gloomy season thus far, the chairman of the club's board, Garcia Sanz, has given his support to Magath, indicating his job is safe for now.

"Currently, Magath's job is not in question." said Sanz. "We have to stand by what we believe, and not do something different every day. We have assembled a team before the season and we trust them."

Wolfsburg renewed Magath’s contract in May, extending it for another two years until 2015.

cg/rc (AFP, dpa)