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Sports

Stuttgart sack coach Bruno Labbadia

Bundesliga soccer club VfB Stuttgart have fired head coach Bruno Labbadia. The club announced the move a day after suffering its third straight defeat to start the season.

AUGSBURG, GERMANY - AUGUST 25: Head coach Bruno Labbadia of Stuttgart reacts during the Bundesliga match between FC Augsburg and VfB Stuttgart at SGL Arena on August 25, 2013 in Augsburg, Germany. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)

FC Augsburg - VfB Stuttgart

In a statement posted on the club's website on Monday, Stuttgart announced that they had sacked both head coach Bruno Labbadia and his assistant, Erdinc Sözer. There was no word on a replacement, but more details were to be announced in a press conference later in the day.

Goalkeeper coach Andreas Menger and conditioning coach Christos Papadopoulos were to take over Monday's training session.

The first coach-sacking of the Bundesliga season came just hours after Stuttgart lost 2-1 to Augsburg on Sunday. This was the club's third defeat in the league in as many games.

The Swabians are also in danger of failing to reach the group stage of the Europa League after they fell 2-1 to the Croatian side HNK Rijeka in the first leg of their playoff tie last Thursday.

The 47-year-old Labaddia joined Stuttgart in December of 2010, helping them to avoid relegation to division 2. He followed that up by leading them to qualification for the Europa League in 2012. He also took the team to the final of Germany's DFB Cup last season.

Labbadia had previous stints as a head coach in Leverkusen and Hamburg.

As the pundits wait for the club to announce a replacement, there has been no shortage of speculation about who the new bench boss could be. The German football magazine Kicker reported on its website that former Stuttgart stars Zvonimir Soldo and Krassimir Balakov were thought to be in the running, as well as Thomas Schneider, who is currently in charge of the club's under-17 side.

pfd/kms (dpa, SID)