Stuttgart patient with Markus Babbel
Markus Babbel's job as coach of Stuttgart should be safe at least until Tuesday, despite Saturday's 1-0 Bundesliga defeat to Hannover.
That was the club's third straight league defeat, but Babbel will be given the chance to correct matters in the DFB-Pokal tie with Greuther Furth on Tuesday.
"We are patient," said director of sport Horst Heldt. "He is not only our coach because he worked well last season but also because he is working well now."
Nevertheless, Heldt hinted there may be a limit to his patience. "We now need wins," he told Kicker magazine. "It is very hard after four straight defeats to talk about an upwards trend."
That, however, is precisely what Babbel did after the narrow defeat in Lower Saxony.
He told reporters that his team just "needs to carry on like this" and that the performances are worthy of better results.
"We played good games against Schalke and Sevilla, just like today," he said. "Now we need to reward ourselves and let the penny drop. I am the last to give up hope."
But Babbel's task is not going to be easy, against second division high-flyers Furth - and then Bayern Munich next weekend.