McClaren sacked by Wolfsburg

Steve McClaren was yesterday sacked by Bundesliga side Wolfsburg after just seven months in charge with his side just one point off from the relegation zone.

The 49-year-old became the first English manager to coach in the Bundesliga last August, but McClaren has been dismissed in the wake of Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Hanover, when he criticised star player Diego for missing a penalty.

McClaren’s co-trainer Pierre Littbarski will take over as caretaker coach.

“We were no longer sure that we could work with Steve McClaren until the end of the season with some stability,” said director of sport Dieter Hoeness in a statement.

“We have tried to make things work, but we have lost faith that we can bring success.”

Having coached FC Twente to last season’s Dutch title, McClaren took charge of the 2009 Bundesliga champions before the start of the season, but his team have struggled throughout.

Despite being given a vote of confidence and allowed to go on a spending spree in January, McClaren’s sacking can be blamed on his team’s league position of 12th – just a point keeps them from 16th and the bottom three.

“Our main concern now is to widen the gap between us and the relegation zone as soon as possible,” said Hoeness.

After McClaren sold Edin Dzeko to Manchester City in January for 34 million euros, he splashed Wolfsburg’s cash in a bid to improve his team’s faltering league position.

Attacking midfielders Koo Ja-Cheoul of South Korea and Venezuelan Yohandry Orozco, Germany’sPatrick Helmes, Turkish international striker Tuncay Sanli and Jan Polak were all brought in.

But Saturday’s defeat was the final straw as McClaren slammed Diego for disregarding the English coach’s order to let Patrick Helmes take an 80th-minute penalty, which the Brazilian then missed.


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