Werder Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf has been backed to turn around the club's fortunes by director of sport Klaus Allofs after a 3-0 defeat to Cologne at the weekend raised doubts about his future.
Schaaf has been at the helm of the northern Germany side for 12 years, but never have they been in such a difficult situation.With just 22 points from 19 games, Bremen are just three points clear of the relegation zone while qualifying for Europe next season seems unlikely with an 11-point deficit on fifth-placed Mainz.
The team was summoned for a crisis meeting on Monday. According to Allofs, it is they who are under pressure and not Schaaf.
"Sometimes bad coaches have good results, but here it is the other way around,'' he said. "There is no ultimatum for the coach. He has our total backing. We are absolutely convinced in him.
"The problem is not the coach, it is the team. They have got to understand that they need to fight. We are not mature enough to play good football anyway now.''
Not only is Allofs convinced with Schaaf's work, he also feels it would not make any difference firing him and hiring somebody else, even if it could give them a short-term boost. He said: "We are not going to sack a coach to maybe get one or two weeks of a psychological difference. Other clubs have made this mistake, but we won't.''
Schaaf has remained silent since the weekend's defeat, but he has raised his voice regularly in training.
"I can feel that he is totally motivated,'' added Allofs.