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Gerrard intro in L.A.

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By ESPN Staff

Holzhauser hits out at Sammer

Bayer Leverkusen general manager Wolfgang Holzhauser has given coach Robin Dutt his backing and questioned Matthias Sammer's role as a television pundit.

• Valencia 3-1 Bayer Leverkusen

Holzhauser reacted angrily to criticism of his club from former Borussia Dortmund boss Sammer, who works for Sky television as well as being the technical director of the German Football Association (DFB).

"I know that in a cut-throat business like football, it is very difficult to remain patient, but we need patience, especially for the coach," Holzhauser said. "I would like to give Robin Dutt and his team my faith and, at the same time, praise him for his excellent work.

"Maybe the DFB should consider what roles the employees of the world's biggest sports association are allowed to take."

Holzhauser was particularly annoyed with Sammer's remarks after Leverkusen's defeat to Valencia in the Champions League a week ago.

Sammer said that "too much is being painted in a positive light at Leverkusen" before branding the result "catastrophic".

"The way in which Matthias Sammer, for example, ignored the performance of the referee in Valencia and massacred the performance of our team is definitely borderline," Holzhauser added. "Had [Bayer director of sport] Rudi Voller got so worked up in front of a camera, he would have soon felt the wrath of the sport's disciplinary bodies again."

Sammer responded to Holzhauser's outburst by telling Germany's Bild newspaper that he "would have preferred it if Mr Holzhauser had called me directly if there were any problems".

He added: "I would never criticise a coach. I met Robin Dutt last Monday at a meeting of coaches and he explicitly thanked me as technical director for the support I have been giving coaches."

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