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Hyypia takes charge at Leverkusen

Former Liverpool skipper Sami Hyypia has been placed in temporary charge of Bayer Leverkusen after the Bundesliga side sacked manager Robin Dutt at the weekend.

• Bayer sack coach Dutt
• Bundesliga: Hannover on the climb

Leverkusen suffered their fifth consecutive defeat on Saturday, losing 2-0 at home to SC Freiburg, and the club have now turned to reserve team coach Hyypia, who will work alongside Under-19s coach Sascha Lewandowski.

The Werkself are seventh in the Bundesliga and ex-Reds defender Hyypia hopes to lead the club into the Europa League over the final six games of the campaign.

"I am convinced that our side is strong enough to reach this goal," said the Finn, who hung up his playing boots at the end of last season.

"We need to give self-confidence back to the players. We had 11 players on the field against Freiburg, but we did not have a team out there. We have got to show that we will give everything to be successful.

"For that to happen, we need to become closely knit as a team and we also need the support of the fans to achieve our objectives."

Hyypia, who became a firm fans' favourite during his two seasons as a Leverkusen player, can certainly expect to be given more of a chance than Dutt was by the supporters.

After axing Dutt, Leverkusen managing director Wolfgang Holzhaeuser said: "We simply had to act and set a marker to reach our season's goal of international competition."

Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voller added: "With the Hyypia, Lewandowski team we want to turn things around and get back on track. The team is now under greater obligation. We demand more at Bayer."

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