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Thursday, October 25, 2012
Wolfsburg parts company with Magath

ESPN.com news services

Wolfsburg and coach Felix Magath have parted ways following the club's abysmal start to the Bundesliga season.

The club said Thursday in a statement that Magath "offered to be relieved of his duties because he did not want the club to be adversely affected."

Lorenz-Gunther Kostner, the club's assistant coach, will serve as the interim coach for a team that is rooted to the foot of the Bundesliga.

Magath led Wolfsburg to the Bundesliga title in 2009, but according to the statement, he volunteered to step aside "since the club has a predominant place in his heart" and he "did not want the club to suffer."

Magath was appointed to his second spell in charge of the Wolves just over 18 months ago and guided them to safety at the end of a difficult season.

"During both terms with Wolfsburg he showed tremendous commitment and achieved great things for our club, the city of Wolfsburg and sport in the whole region," Wolfsburg chairman Francisco Garcia-Sanz said. "The focus is now on the upcoming games to get back to mid-table in the league as soon as possible."

Despite making wholesale changes to his playing staff in the summer of 2011, Wolfsburg nevertheless struggled last term and just missed out on a place in Europe, the aim they set themselves for the current season.

However, with only five points from the first eight games of this campaign, culminating in a run of four consecutive defeats with 10 goals conceded and none scored, that target has been placed in jeopardy resulting in today's decision to go separate ways.

"The board regrets that this situation has arisen, although both parties had tried everything in recent weeks to be successful," read the statement from the Bundesliga club.

It is the second time Kostner, whose appointment was requested by the fans during Saturday's 2-0 defeat at home to Freiburg, has taken charge of the first team.

He replaced Armin Veh for the final four months of the 2009-10 season, but returned to his duties in charge of the reserves at the start of the 2010-11 campaign after Steve McClaren was appointed.

Once McClaren's reign came to an end, the club turned again to Magath, who had led them to a shock first Bundesliga title in 2009 and was having problems at Schalke, and he took over at the Wolves less than 24 hours after stepping down at the Royal Blues.

Wolfsburg travel to Fortuna Dusseldorf on Saturday.

Information from Press Association and The Associated Press was used in this report.




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