Berlin: Borussia Dortmund sacked Peter Bosz as head coach on Sunday and replaced him with Austrian Peter Stoeger, who was only fired by Bundesliga bottom side Cologne last weekend.
Dutchman Bosz, 54, was fired after just 167 days in charge as Dortmund's 2-1 defeat at home to Werder Bremen on Saturday left them winless in their last eight league games following a miserable run of results. Bosz was dismissed just hours after the Bremen defeat, when poor defending again led to another dreadful team display, and Stoeger has little time to prepare for their next Bundesliga game at Mainz on Tuesday.
Steoger has just three matches left before the winter break, with the Mainz match being followed by a league game at home to Hoffenheim next Saturday and a plum German cup third-round clash at Bayern Munich on December 20. "We will train together today and tomorrow and the first thing will be to talk about the current problems," said Stoeger at Sunday's press conference.
"We want to bring some more empathy back into the group." Stoeger, who steered Cologne to fifth in the Bundesliga last season before a disastrous winless start to 2017/18, flew straight from Vienna to Germany after being contacted by Dortmund's CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke on Saturday night. The call caught Stoeger by surprise.
"I wasn't planning on this, but the call changed everything," said the Austrian. "You only get a chance like this once in your life and now we have to see if we can make everyone happy."
Dortmund have given Stoeger, 51, a contract until the end of the season a week after he was released by Cologne. "We will have a talk in the summer, nothing is set in stone in life," said Stoeger on his short-term Dortmund 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 has 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 since then have sunk to seventh, 13 points behind current leaders Bayern Munich.
That drop down the Bundesliga table came following terrible run of results -- including throwing away a four-goal lead to draw 4-4 with local rivals Schalke last month -- that also led to Dortmund failing to qualify from their Champions League group.
"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."