DUISBURG, April 4 (Bundesliga) - Bundesliga strugglers Duisburg on Tuesday fired coach Jurgen Kohler and installed Heiko Scholz in temporary charge until the end of the season.
With the club deep in relegation trouble, the board moved to act after five games without a victory who had already been deep in trouble before Kohler took the reins earlier this season.
Reportedly 'shocked and saddened' by the decision, it has been revealed Kohler was actually forced out of the club by the players.
'We were no longer a community,' explained club president Walter Hellmich. 'The team was top fit and excellent in training, but that is no good if there is a clash of personality.'
The writing was on the wall for Kohler after a 1-1 draw in Wolfsburg at the weekend saw the club slip to six points below the safety zone but Hellmich now hopes a new impetus could save them from a fate that at the moment looks to be inevitable.
'If we can all pull together again, then it's still possible to pull something out of the bag and stay up,' he added.
'If this does not happen, then we will shake ourselves up and prepare to come straight back up next season.'
Duisburg are now second from the bottom of the Bundesliga with six games of the season remaining to extricate themselves.
Kohler, a key member of the West Germany team that won the 1990 World Cup, only coached the club for 11 games before the axe fell.
'Juergen Kohler was one of the best players in Germany in the last century but was unable to create a successful team spirit,' said Duisburg president Walter Hellmich. 'You can't survive in the relegation battle without that.'
Kohler blamed Hellmich for the team's woes.
'I wanted to set up professional structures. But the president wanted to go a different route,' Kohler told reporters.