Wolfsburg turn to Littbarski
Pierre Littbarski is expected to be given until the end of the season to prove he is a candidate for the Wolfsburg job on a full-time basis, after the dismissal of Steve McClaren yesterday. The Englishman was shown the door after little over half of the season following last weekend's 1-0 defeat at Hannover, which left the 2009 Bundesliga champions just one point above the relegation zone.
Littbarski, who was appointed as McClaren's assistant in the summer and had been working as his interpreter, as well as his right-hand man, has been handed the reins in his place. The former Germany international led his first training session this morning, but other names are already being linked with the club.
Ralf Rangnick, Martin Jol, Huub Stevens and Lucien Favre are the first to emerge, though managing director Dieter Hoeness has given Littbarski his backing to lead the club to safety.
"We hope to have the same result as last year with Lorenz-Gunther Kostner, and our aim is to move away from the relegation zone," he said. "There is still a lot of work necessary and I hope that Pierre Littbarski works successfully."
Hoeness informed McClaren that his tenure had come to an end by telephone yesterday afternoon.
"After Saturday's game, we held lots of talks and considered everything, and then we decided that we would go separate ways and I called him to inform him," explained Hoeness to Sport1 television. "It was not easy for me. Usually I prefer to do things like this in person, but there was no other way round it this time."
According to reports, Hoeness could not deliver the news in person because McClaren was already flying back to England, aware of what was coming. And Hoeness added that it had been a mistake making McClaren the first English coach in the Bundesliga in the first place.
"I have to take responsibility for that," he said. "It was the wrong decision."