Felix Magath has called for unity at Bundesliga crisis club Hertha Berlin after being appointed interim coach to the end of the season.
“We all need to work together to get out of this difficult situation – it’s not about myself or [managing director] Fredi [Bobic], only Hertha BSC,” he said on Monday.
“Achieving our goal will only happen when we are fully concentrated on the task and focus on the essentials.”
Five successive losses proved the end of previous boss Tayfun Korkut who was fired on Sunday with the club 17th in the table. The bottom two in the 18-club league are relegated while 16th faces a play-off against a promotion contender.
This is Hertha’s ninth successive season in the top flight.
“We know the situation we’re in. We have eight, possibly 10 games to turn things around,” said Bobic.
“We decided we needed a coach with experience and a strong personality, and Felix stood out. I’m delighted that he’s decided to take on the task.”
The 68-year-old Magath, renowned for his hard training, won two Bundesliga and cup doubles with Bayern Munich and also led Wolfsburg to a shock Bundesliga title in 2009.
But after a farcical spell with Fulham in England in 2014 he had been out of the game with the exception of a short stint coaching in China.
“I’ve done nothing but football for my whole life: I love this game. I think I’ve proved before that I can adapt to different situations, and there’s something here which suits me,” said Magath. “I want to help Hertha and keep the club in the league.”
Hertha have not only struggled on the pitch this season but there have been public differences of opinion between the board and investor Lars Windhorst, who has pumped millions into the club.
Magath will now hope to spark a turnaround, beginning on Saturday at home to Champions League hopefuls Hoffenheim.