Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday sacked head coach Peter Bosz and brought in Hannes Wolf in a bid to stop their slide down the Bundesliga table after having been top in December.
Bosz, 57, has been replaced by former Germany Under-18 boss Wolf, 39, who is caretaker coach until the end of the season with Leverkusen currently sixth in Germany’s top flight.
Wolf won the second division title with Stuttgart in 2016/17, but was sacked after a season at Hamburg after failing to get them back into the Bundesliga in 2018/19.
“With the new coaching team, we want to turn things around and again take the path to success that we had left,” said Leverkusen’s sporting director Simon Rolfes.
“Even as a very young coach, Hannes Wolf has impressed with big clubs and was particularly convincing through his promotion to the Bundesliga with VfB Stuttgart.”
Wolf’s opening game will be at bottom club Schalke on April 3, the first of eight league games he will have to bridge the seven-point gap to the Champions League places.
“It’s up to us to get the maximum out of the remaining eight games for Bayer 04 Leverkusen,” said Wolf after a press conference on Tuesday.
“This is a bit different, because if a season is like a marathon, this is more like an 800m race.”
Under Dutch coach Bosz, who took charge in December 2018, Leverkusen have won just three of 13 league games since they lost to Bayern Munich just before Christmas as then-Bundesliga leaders.
Sunday’s 3-0 defeat at struggling Hertha Berlin, who are fighting relegation, was the final straw with Leverkusen now seven points from fourth and a Champions League berth next season.
In total, the ‘Werkself’ has lost 10 of their 17 games in all competitions since the start of 2021.
“We have come to the conclusion that the separation from Peter Bosz can no longer be avoided,” said club boss Rudi Voeller.
“The 3-0 defeat at Hertha on Sunday was unfortunately characteristic — our team has recently fallen into the same pattern over and over again.
“We therefore agreed to make a cut, despite the great appreciation for the work of Peter Bosz.”