Hannover appoint Thomas Doll as Andre Breitenreiter replacement | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 27.01.2019
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Hannover appoint Thomas Doll as Andre Breitenreiter replacement

The former Hamburg and Borussia Dortmund coach has signed a contract at the club until June 2020. The club parted ways with Andre Breitenreiter on Sunday following a run of eight league matches without a win.

The announcement came hours after Andre Breitenreiter was sacked by the club second last in the Bundesliga. Breitenreiter's final match in charge was a humiliating 5-1 defeat away to league leaders Borussia Dortmund.

Doll, 51, has experience coaching in the Bundesliga, having enjoyed initial success as Hamburg coach between 2004 and 2007. He helped the club avoid relegation after taking charge midway through the 2004-05 season, before winning the Intertoto Cup and qualifying for the Champions League via a third-placed finish 12 months later.

He was fired midway through the 2006-07 season after the club failed to make it out of their Champions League group and found themselves bottom of the table by Christmas.

Doll joined Borussia Dortmund at the start of the following campaign, but was relieved of his duties after a disappointing 13th placed finish in his only season in charge. 

Hannover fans will find the appointment hard to gage given Doll has been coaching outside of Germany for more than ten years since his role at Dortmund. He spent a season each at Hungarian club Genclerbirligi and Saudi Arabian outfit Al-Hilal before a five-year stint at another Hungarian side, Ferencvaros, where he was named Hungarian coach of the year in 2015-16 after winning every available domestic trophy.

Hannover sporting director Horst Heldt spoke glowingly of Doll's achievements in a statement released by the club on Sunday.

"Thomas Doll has done a successful job in all of his previous roles, proving time after time that he achieves pre-determined goals - both in the struggle for survival, as well as for titles and participation in international competition," said Heldt. "Even during his years in Hungary, he has always closely followed German football. He knows the Bundesliga inside out."

Heldt also expressed his regret at Breitenreiter's dismissal. The former Schalke boss took charge in May 2017, with the club chasing promotion to the first division. A nine-game unbeaten run at the end of the season secured promotion, before finishing an impressive 13th in last season's Bundesliga campaign. Just two wins in 19 games this season though, spelled the end.

"This decision is extremely difficult for us and for me personally, because the working relationship between Andre and me has been extremely close and always very trusting," said Heldt. "His name will always be linked to our promotion in 2017 and keeping us up last season."

Hannover's next match is at home to RB Leipzig on February 1. 

em/jh (DPA, AFP)

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