FC St. Pauli have confirmed they have parted company with Olaf Janßen, replacing him with Markus Kauczinski.
After taking over from Ewald Lienen in the summer, Janßen has paid the price for an alarming run of form, including defeats of 4-0 and 5-0 in their last two matches.
Former Karlsruher SC and FC Ingolstadt 04 coach Kauczinski has been brought straight in, signing a contract until 2019.
Heavy defeats put paid to Janßen era
After coming in as assistant coach during the course of last season, Janßen was elevated to the role of head coach in the summer as his predecessor Lienen was made St. Pauli’s technical director after twice beating relegation in two-and-a-half years in charge of the first team.
The 51-year-old signed a two-year deal, and despite a slightly rocky start, including being upset in the DFB-Pokal by SC Paderborn 07 and heavy defeats to SV Darmstadt 98 and Ingolstadt, his side had picked up five wins from nine 2. Bundesliga games by the time of the October international break, leaving them sixth in the table.
The warning signs had been there though, with only one of those wins (versus Eintracht Braunschweig) by more than one goal and only one other, courtesy of a late Johannes Flum winner against 1. FC Heidenheim, was at the Millerntor-Stadion. And since then, they have gone seven games without a win, with a 4-0 defeat at SpVgg Greuther Fürth and a 5-0 hammering at Arminia Bielefeld hastening the decision on his future.
That decision was taken on Wednesday, with club president Oke Göttlich saying in Thursday’s statement that it had been “a very difficult decision,” as Janßen was “held in high esteem by everyone at the club.” He added though that “the results of the last two weeks” had left them “no longer convinced we can stop the downward trend” with him.
Janßen himself said that he had “enjoyed” his time with the club, and that he “would have liked to have continued the journey as head coach myself,” but he “respected” the decision, and is “convinced the lads will turn things round.” One of his assistants, Patrick Glöckner, has also left the club but the other, Markus Gellhaus, plus goalkeeping coach Mathias Hain remain with the club.
St. Pauli hope Kauczinski can repeat Karlsruhe success
Rather than seeking an internal solution, for example reinstated Lienen as head coach, the club have now confirmed Kauczinski as Janßen’s permanent successor.
47-year-old Kauczinski is best remembered for his four years in charge of Karlsruhe between 2012 and 2016. He fell just short of keeping them in the 2. Bundesliga when he first took charge, but in his first full season he brought them straight back up and within two seasons led them to a play-off against Hamburger SV for a Bundesliga place, which they lost in cruel fashion.
After a further season at Wildparkstadion he replaced RB Leipzig-bound Ralph Hasenhüttl at Ingolstadt in 2016. It was a disastrous spell with die Schanzer though, as they picked up just two Bundesliga points in his ten games in charge, laying the seeds for the eventual relegation after two years in the top flight. He was replaced by Maik Walpurgis.
Speaking on the new appointment, director of sport Uwe Stöver said that Kauczinski is “an absolute professional and someone who knows the second division very well.” He added that he had “shown that he knows his way round difficult situations” whilst at Karlsruhe and that they are “convinced” he will turn things around.
Kauczinski, who will be joined by regular assistant Patrick Westermann and has already taken his first training session, said that he “didn’t need long to think” about accepting the job, and he is “convinced there’s enough potential in the team” to be successful with them. His first game in charge is at home to MSV Duisburg on Sunday.
Quotes via FC St. Pauli.