Bundesliga soccer club Hannover 96 have appointed Thomas Schaaf as their new head coach days after the relegation-threatened club's previous coach, Michael Frontzeck, stepped down.
In a statement posted on their website on Monday, Hannover announced that Schaaf, the former long-time coach of Werder Bremen, had signed a contract to coach the struggling Bundesliga team through the end of the 2016-17 season.
"From the first minute of our talks I had the feeling that Thomas can completely identify with this task," Martin Bader, Hannover's sporting director said. "His CV and his experience speak for themselves. He has worked successfully (as a coach) in the Bundesliga for decades."
For his part, Schaaf, who resigned as coach of Eintracht Frankfurt at the end of last season, said he was looking forward to trying to save Hannover from the drop.
"I understand how difficult the task will be," Schaaf said. "Despite this, I am looking forward to this great challenge, along with the players, of avoiding relegation."
Hannover went into the Bundesliga's winter break in 17th place in the standings, having taken just 14 points from 17 games. Schaaf's predecessor, Michael Frontzeck, who had saved Hannover from the drop after taking over last April, resigned from the post last Monday.
Schaaf is to be officially introduced to the media next Monday, January 4, 2016, after he takes charge of Hannover at his first training session with the club, as it begins its preparations for the second half of the season.
Successful Bremen years
As Bader alluded to in his statement, Schaaf has a wealth of experience in the Bundesliga, mainly with Werder Bremen, where he was the head coach from 1999 to 2013, winning the Bundesliga title in 2004, as well as the German Cup three times (1999, 2004, 2009).
Schaaf was hired as Eintracht Frankfurt's head coach in the summer of 2014 and led the club to a ninth-place finish, before resigning at the end of last season.
At the halfway point of this season, Schaaf's long-time club, Bremen, sit just a point ahead of Hannover in 16th position in the Bundesliga, while Frankfurt are also flirting with relegation - in 14th place, three points above Hannover.