Werder Bremen have sacked head coach Florian Kohfeldt with just one game to go in the club’s battle to avoid relegation from the Bundesliga.
Bremen lost 2-0 at mid-table side Augsburg on Saturday to leave them in the relegation play-off spot ahead of the final game of the regular season next weekend.
They are also one point and place ahead of FC Koln in the last automatic relegation place.
Kohfeldt had guided Bremen on a nine-game winless run in the league and also oversaw their German Cup semi-final defeat to RB Leipzig in April and now former coach Thomas Schaaf will take over for the season-defining game against Borussia Monchengladbach next Saturday.
Werder Bremen sporting director Frank Baumann said on Sunday: “Following the match in Augsburg, we unfortunately no longer have the conviction that we will be able to maintain our Bundesliga status with Florian Kohfeldt as head coach.
“As a result, we consulted with the club’s boards on the evening following the defeat and ultimately came to this decision. We remain convinced that Florian Kohfeldt is an excellent coach, but in the present circumstances there is a consensus that a change is necessary in order to avoid relegation.
“We would like to thank Florian for everything he has done for Werder and wish him all the best.”
Bremen need to beat Gladbach next weekend and hope Arminia Bielefeld fail to beat Stuttgart at the same time to retain their German top-flight status for next season.
The club could be relegated from the Bundesliga outright should they fail to win their match and Koln beat bottom side Schalke.
Should Bremen remain in 16th place come the end of next weekend, they will have to play a two-legged play-off tie against the third-placed team from the German second division, which will be one of Greuther Furth, Hamburg or Dusseldorf.
But former head coach Schaaf, who managed Werder between 1999 and 2013, will take charge of the climax to their season.
The 60-year-old won the Bundesliga with Bremen in the 2003-04 season and also won two league titles as a player in the 1980s and 1990s.
He most recently had spells managing Eintracht Frankfurt and Hannover 96.