Football

Dortmund sack Bosz, welcome Stoeger

New man in the hot seat was fired by Cologne just earlier this month

Borussia Dortmund sacked coach Peter Bosz yesterday and replaced him with Austrian Peter Stoeger, who was fired by Bundesliga bottom side Cologne only two Sundays ago.

Dutchman Bosz, 54, was dismissed after just 167 days in charge, as Dortmund's 2-1 home loss to Werder Bremen on Saturday left them winless in their last eight league games.

Dortmund had also failed to qualify for the Champions League knockout stages, and will learn the identity of their Europa League opponents during today's Round of 32 draw.

Bosz was dismissed just hours after the Bremen defeat, when poor defending again led to another dreadful team display.

Stoeger will have little time to prepare for their next Bundesliga game at Mainz on Wednesday morning (Singapore time).

After that match, he has just two games left before the winter break - a league game at home to Hoffenheim on Sunday morning (Singapore time) and a German Cup third-round clash at Bayern Munich on Dec 20.

"We will train together today and tomorrow and the first thing will be to talk about the current problems," said Stoeger at yesterday's press conference.

"We want to bring some more empathy back into the group."

Stoeger was into his fifth season at Cologne when he was sacked.

He won promotion at the first attempt, in 2013/14, and led the Billy Goats to a fifth-placed finish last season and back into European football after a 25-year absence.

"Peter Stoeger has done an outstanding job in developing Cologne over the last four years," said Dortmund's sporting director Michael Zorc.

Stoeger flew straight from Vienna to Germany after being contacted by Dortmund's CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke on Saturday.

The call had caught Stoeger by surprise.

"I wasn't planning on this, but the call changed everything," he said. "You get a chance like this only once in your life and now we have to see if we can make everyone happy."

Dortmund have given the 51-year-old a contract until the end of the season.

"We will have a talk in the summer, nothing is set in stone in life," said Stoeger on his short-term deal.

"I don't need a contract until 2020 and it wouldn't have changed anything if I had signed for the next 14 days.

"We have the next six months and then we'll see what happens."

It had been a tough few months for Bosz.

Dortmund held a five-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga at the end of September, but have since sunk to seventh, 13 points behind current leaders Bayern Munich.

That slide came after a terrible run of results - including throwing away a four-goal lead to draw 4-4 with local rivals Schalke last month.

"We parted on the best of terms. I would like to thank Peter Bosz," said Watzke.

"The most important thing is to pick up a few points now and we'll talk about goals in the winter break."

Watzke dismissed concerns about Stoeger's poor recent record at rock-bottom Cologne, who have taken just three points from 14 games, pointing to the fifth place he achieved last season to put the proud Rhineland club back in Europe.

"We have signed Peter because he did some exceptional work in Cologne," said Watzke.

Watzke also made the comparison with cult coach Juergen Klopp, who joined Liverpool on the back of poor results with Dortmund in 2014/15, having won the Bundesliga with the club in 2010/11 and 2011/12.

"Liverpool wouldn't have signed Juergen Klopp based on his last season at Borussia Dortmund," added Watzke. - WIRE SERVICES

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