bundesliga news

Stuttgart vow to stick by Markus Babbel for now

December 1, 2009
By Reuters

VfB Stuttgart have told coach Markus Babbel he will stay on at least until the winter break despite a disappointing first full season in charge.

Markus Babbel
GettyImagesMarkus Babbel: Sacked by Stuttgart

Babbel took over late last year and steered Stuttgart to a surprise third-place finish and a Champions League spot, but his team are currently second from bottom of the standings. They were crushed 4-0 at leaders Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday, leaving them with only two wins in 14 matches.

Stuttgart sports director Horst Heldt was furious with their first-half performance at Leverkusen when they trailed 2-0, telling reporters all 11 players should be taken off the pitch, but club president Erwin Staudt has reassured Babbel it will not cost him his job.

"The 0-4 in Leverkusen is still in our bones and that will have consequences," he told reporters, "but these consequences will not be to sacrifice a coaching team that is fully committed."

Stuttgart can still reach the Champions League knockout stage with a home win over Romania's Unirea Urziceni next week.