Relegation-threatened Hoffenheim sack Müller, Kurz | News | DW | 02.04.2013
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Relegation-threatened Hoffenheim sack Müller, Kurz

Bundesliga soccer club 1899 Hoffenheim have sacked both their head coach and their manager. A former Hoffenheim assistant coach has been given the task of saving the small western German club from relegation.

The club announced on its website on Tuesday that it had dismissed manager Andreas Müller and head coach Marco Kurz (pictured above). Taking over is former Hoffenheim assistant Markus Gisdol, who has no experience as a head coach in the top flight.

A statement posted on the website indicated that Gisdol had been given duties beyond the role of interim coach.

"The 43-year-old soccer coach is taking over his duties with immediate effect and the club's management has given him the task of…rebuilding the team beyond the current season," the statement said.

Gisdol had been assistant to former Schalke head coach Huub Stevens, before both were given the sack last December due to what the board regarded as unsatisfactory results. He had been the coach of Hoffenheim's reserve squad from 2009 to 2011.

The sackings of Kurz and Müller followed Hoffenheim's 3-0 defeat on Saturday at Schalke, the club where as players both had been part of the 1997 side that won the UEFA Cup.

Müller had been hired by Hoffenheim just last September to take over the manager duties from Markus Babbel, who had been acting as both coach and manager. Müller sacked Babbel in early December and replaced him with Kurz. At the time of Babbel's firing the club was in 15th place in the standings. Now Hoffenheim are 17th in the standings, four points shy of 16 place, which would give it a shot at staying in the Bundesliga through a playoff after the regular season against the third-best team in the second division.

pfd/hc (SID, dpa)

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