McClaren to stay as Wolfsburg boss
Under-pressure Wolfsburg manager Steve McClaren has been given a vote of confidence following a crisis meeting at the Bundesliga club and will still be in charge when training resumes after the winter break on January 2.
Wolfsburg have struggled under the Englishman this season and Wednesday night's DFB-Pokal defeat the hands of second division side Energie Cottbus was tipped to be his final game in charge.
However, he has been given the chance to put things right in the new year after a meeting with the club's managing director Dieter Hoeness and his assistant coach Pierre Littbarski, who expect major improvements during the second half of the season from the coach and, more importantly, from the team.
"We have got some cleaning up to do,'' Hoeness said with Wolfsburg languishing in 13th place in the Bundesliga. "We told the team eight weeks ago after the defeat in Nurnberg that their basic attitude must change.
"We did not get a reaction so now we have got to react. The fans do not deserve to see what they are seeing on the pitch, particularly given the exemplary way in which they supported us against Cottbus.
"We expect the coaches to act consequentially and to punish bad behaviour both on and off the field.''
The first consequences have already been taken by Hoeness, who has dropped Karim Ziani and Caiuby from the professional squad. The pair will now train with the reserve team with youngsters Akaki Gogia, Kevin Wolze and Michael Schulze promoted to the first-team squad to replace them.
Former England boss McClaren, who guided FC Twente to the Dutch title last season, was jeered off the field at the end Wednesday's cup defeat at the VW-Arena and admitted afterwards things had to change.
"It was simply not good enough and the first half of the season was not good enough,'' McClaren told ZDF. "I am disappointed, frustrated. We have problems in the dressing room, problems on the field.
"We have hit rock bottom. This club needs changes. They may be drastic, but I cannot control them. I don't know how these changes are going to look precisely. Nobody knows what will happen in the coming days.
"We have got to take a decision quickly. Now is the time, during the winter break, to clean things up.''
Wolfsburg may well strengthen in the the transfer window but McClaren has been told he must spend any money wisely.
"Above all, we will push on with our rebuilding of a successful team next summer,'' explained Hoeness. "It is difficult to do that in the winter, but we will see what we can do.
"It is going to be a painful time for one or two people around here. With this current team in this current situation, enduring success is no longer possible.''