Slomka takes Hannover hotseat
Hannover have confirmed the appointment of former Schalke coach Mirko Slomka as the replacement for Andreas Bergmann, who was sacked on Tuesday morning following a string of negative results.
The club have not won a game since the end of October and last Saturday's 3-0 defeat at home to Hertha Berlin saw them slip into serious danger as they fell into the bottom three of the Bundesliga. In a bid to halt their slide, Bergmann was relieved of his duties on Tuesday, five months to the day after taking charge.
He has been replaced by Slomka, who has been out of work since being sacked by Schalke in April 2008 despite having led them to the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in the club's history, where they lost to Barcelona.
"We are convinced that Mirko Slomka will avoid relegation with our team,'' Hannover's director of sport Jorg Schmadtke said. "Furthermore, he should develop the Hannover team of the future.
"After three consecutive defeats and a negative run which has now stretched to seven matches without a win, the management of Hannover no longer had the feeling that Andreas Bergmann could give the team the necessary impulse to remain in the Bundesliga.''
Slomka will be officially presented at a press conference at the Niedersachsen Stadion on Wednesday, but he made his first declarations in a press release, expressing his excitement at getting back to work at the club where he previously worked as assistant coach to Ralf Rangnick before moving to Schalke.
"I am looking forward to the challenge in my home area and am convinced that we will make quick progress upwards,'' he said. "The team and I have got to get used to each other quickly and start picking up points immediately against Mainz on Saturday.''
Slomka becomes Hannover's third coach of the season. Bergmann took over from Dieter Hecking after just two games of the campaign, taking them into mid-table thanks to a win against Nurnberg on his debut and two impressive draws against Werder Bremen and Borussia Dortmund.
They were lying 10th when Robert Enke took his life in early November and the club has not won a game since, slipping to 16th last weekend.
Schmadtke acknowledged the fact that the extraordinary situation following the tragic death of Enke had not made his job any easier.
"Andreas Bergmann did a good job and led the team with a lot of feeling through the period following the tragic death of Robert Enke,'' he added. "But the necessary victories which should have earned us points to avoid relegation have not been arriving in recent weeks, unfortunately.''
Bergmann was relieved of his duties on Tuesday morning prior to the scheduled training session with Slomka confirmed as his replacement this evening.
The 42-year-old will start work immediately, leading his first training session in Lower Saxony on Wednesday.