Doll hangs on to his job at Hamburg

December 20, 2006

BERLIN, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Hamburg SV's executives have decided to stick with coach Thomas Doll despite just one win from 17 league matches that has left the team second-bottom in the Bundesliga, the club announced on Wednesday.

HSV officials told a news conference the four-member executive, which has been meeting all week to discuss Doll's future, had opted to keep the popular coach.

'After some partly heated debate at the beginning we made our decision with full conviction,' Hamburg chief executive Bernd Hoffmann told reporters.

'Thomas Doll received no ideal possibilities during the league matches. He should now have the opportunity to work under better conditions.'

The club's full board was informed of the decision, the German sports news agency SID reported.

HSV are battling against being relegated for the first time since the Bundesliga began in the 1963-64 season. They had hoped to challenge for the title after finishing third last term and qualifying for the Champions League.

But this season has been abysmal and they have picked up only 13 points having drawn 10 matches and lost six. They finished the Champions League campaign bottom of their group and were eliminated from European competition.

Doll still has the support of most HSV fans and players.