BERLIN – After a fourth straight Bundesliga defeat, Hamburg reluctantly fired their head coach Markus Gisdol on Sunday with the club second from bottom of the league.
"Parting ways with a coach prematurely is never something we would wish to do but we feel a fresh start might help us to stay up, which is our aim," club chairman Heribert Bruchhagen told AFP's German subsidiary SID.
Hamburg have lost 12 of their 19 league games this season.
Their latest defeat, 2-0 at home to rock-bottom Cologne on Saturday, was their sixth match without a win.
Gisdol is the sixth head coach to be sacked by a Bundesliga club this season.
"I would like to go home and let it sink in. I would have liked to have continued," said Gisdol, who was informed of his dismissal at a meeting on Sunday.
According to German daily Bild, former Hamburg midfielder Bernd Hollerbach, 48, who played for the club from 1996-2004, is set to take charge.
"The decision to change (coaches) was unanimous, but it was not easy for us, there was no alternative. The new coach should solve the uncertainty in the team," added Bruchhagen, without confirming who will take over.
Gisdol lasted less than 15 months in charge, but Hamburg has been a revolving door in the last decade with no head coach managing to stay for two years.
Experienced coaches such as Bert van Marwijk, Mirko Slomka, Bruno Labbadia, in two different spells, and Armin Veh all had brief stints in charge.
The last to enjoy any success was Thomas Doll, head coach from October 2003 until February 2007.
He steered Hamburg to the group phase of the Champions League in 2006/07 - their last appearance in European football's top competition.
It's a far cry from the club's glory days in the 1980s when Hamburg won the Bundesliga crown twice, were runners up three times, and lifted the European Cup in 1982-83.