Martin Schmidt quits as Wolfsburg manager after 19 matches
WOLFSBURG, Germany -- Martin Schmidt has quit as coach of relegation-troubled Wolfsburg with 11 rounds of the Bundesliga remaining.
The Volkswagen-backed club say they accepted Schmidt's resignation on Monday "after an intensive and contentious discussion" and they "expressly regret" his decision.
Schmidt told managing director Tim Schumacher, sporting director Olaf Rebbe, and the supervisory board of his decision, said to allow Wolfsburg to "improve the actual sporting situation through a new impulse from the coaching bench and to take away the ever-increasing pressure from the club and himself personally."
Schumacher told the club website: "We were all totally convinced that we would turn the tide together. This move from Martin Schmidt was surprising and unforeseeable, especially as we do not fully understand all his reasons."
Schmidt took over on Sept. 18 after Wolfsburg fired his predecessor Andries Jonker. He lost only five of his 19 Bundesliga games, but 11 ended in draws. Wolfsburg won only three league games with him in charge.
Schmidt's last game was an encouraging 2-1 defeat at home to runaway league leader Bayern Munich on Saturday, a loss that left the side just one point ahead of Schmidt's former side, Mainz, in the relegation playoff place. The sides meet in a high-stakes clash on Friday.
Wolfsburg say team training is postponed to Tuesday, and the person to lead it will be announced soon.