Leverkusen appoint duo full-time
Sami Hyypia and Sascha Lewandowski have been named as the new management team at Bayer Leverkusen on a full-time basis.
The pair took over for the final six games of the season following the dismissal of Robin Dutt and, with 14 points out of a possible 18, they have done enough to convince club bosses to appoint them on permanent deals.
"Sascha Lewandowski and Sami Hyypia proved in their six games this season that they could lead this team with a blend of competence, charisma, hard work and relaxation,'' said Leverkusen's general manager Wolfgang Holzhauser.
"This refreshing combination gives us reason to look into the future optimistically.
"With the duo of Lewandowski ad Hyypia, we want to further cement our place in the top third of the Bundesliga with the aim of qualifying for European competition.''
Hyypia, who raised doubts about whether coaching was for him during his six-game interim spell in charge, is now fully convinced that the Leverkusen hot seat is perfect for him and Lewandowski.
"Although we did not know each other beforehand and only had little time to develop a concept, the last weeks for Sascha, the club and I were successful,'' he said on the club's website.
"For Bayer to now give us a chance to carry on together is a great show of faith.
"We are convinced that, with this team and with these colleagues, we will be able to play a good role both at home and abroad in future.''
With Leverkusen looking to make a challenge in the Europa League next season, Leverkusen's director of sport Rudi Voller believes the former Liverpool defender's experience could come in useful.
"Sami has played at the highest level in Europe for 10 years and, in his last two years as a player with Leverkusen, he left a very good impression,'' he said.
"He was made to coach a team and he will certainly take Bayer forwards in his new role together with Sascha.''
Lewandowski, who was in charge of the youth team last season, is also looking forward to his new role at the helm of the first-team squad.
He said: "Sami and I took over the side in a difficult phase for the club and we quickly harmonised,'' he said. "Our collaboration was always based on faith and it was very productive, and I am looking forward to intensifying it.'