Bundesliga strugglers VfB Stuttgart have sacked coach Markus Babbel, a day after a 1-1 draw against VfL Bochum left them in 16th place, the club said on Sunday.
Stuttgart, who can still qualify for the Champions League knockout stage with a win against Romania's Unirea Urziceni on Wednesday, have only won two out of 15 league matches this season.
Babbel took over midway through last season, after Armin Veh was sacked, and steered Stuttgart to a surprise third-place finish and a Champions League spot.
This season, the rookie coach, who is still studying for his coaching licence, has failed to replicate last year's form with the team winning only two of their matches so far.
He was handed a vote of confidence by the club as recently as Wednesday but the home draw with Bochum was the former Liverpool and Germany defender's last as boss.
Skipper Thomas Hitzlsperger hinted at troubles in the dressing room,
"I'm not going to say that things can't get any worse. I said that four or seeks weeks ago, and then things got worse," the captain said.
The Bundesliga club can still reach the Champions League knockout stage with a home win over Romania's Unirea Urziceni on Wednesday.