Tayfun Korkut in after Stuttgart's surprise sacking of Hannes Wolf
Tayfun Korkut at Monday's press conference. | Photo: VfB Stuttgart.

Tayfun Korkut in after Stuttgart's surprise sacking of Hannes Wolf

The former Hannover and Bayer Leverkusen has signed an 18-month contract with the Bundesliga club.

James Rees

A day after the surprise departure of Hannes Wolf, VfB Stuttgart have appointed Tayfun Korkut as their new head coach.

Wolf parted ways with die Roten on Sunday following a 2-0 defeat to Schalke 04, the side’s sixth defeat in seven matches either side of the winter break.

Korkut, who had a far from memorable interim spell with Bayer Leverkusen at the back end of last season, has signed a contract until 2019.

Korkut promises club will meet goals

Korkut’s time with Leverkusen was far from inspiring after replacing Roger Schmidt last March. The team won just twice in 11 Bundesliga matches, against eventually-relegated SV Darmstadt 98 and, in a 6-2 victory on the final day of the season, Hertha BSC. For a club usually looking to qualify for the UEFA Champions League, the ended just four points clear of the relegation play-off spot.

The 43-year-old, who was born in Stuttgart but represented Turkey at international level as a player, previously worked with the club as the coach of their under-19 team in 2011, before becoming assistant to Turkey coach Abdullah Avci. He then managed Hannover FC and, briefly, 1. FC Kaiserslautern in low-key spells before his stint at Leverkusen.

Speaking at the club’s press conference on Monday, Sporting Director Michael Reschke said that they were “delighted that we have found a good solution [for the managerial vacancy] so quickly” after parting company with Wolf.

The new appointment meanwhile said that he has “a lot of faith in the squad” he is taking on, and having seen plenty of them in action this season, he feels he is “well prepared for this task.”

He is focused on his first game against VfL Wolfsburg this coming weekend, and believes they will be “well prepared” despite the short amount of time he has to get to know his new team. He also promised that his side will be ready for every game, will entertain the fans, and most importantly of all, “we will reach our goal for this season” – staying in the Bundesliga.

Wolf departure a surprise

He replaces Wolf, who had been one of a number of high-rated Bundesliga coaches under the age of 40. The former Borussia Dortmund youth coach has taken over in September 2016, following the short-lived tenure of Jos Luhukay, and despite a rocky road along the way led them to the 2. Bundesliga title at the first attempt following their relegation from the top flight.

He had appeared to stabilise a club that had been stumbling badly before it went down in 2016, and their return to the Bundesliga was a solid one, with five wins and a draw from the first six home matches. Their away form was shocking though, with the 1-1 draw at Hannover 96 at the end of November their only point on the road so far.

Since then they though, they have lost all but one of their games, however of their four home matches in that time, three were against the league’s current top three and the fourth, against Hertha BSC, was their sole victory. Despite those mitigating circumstances, the club’s board decided to cut their losses following the most recent loss to Schalke, with assistant Miguel Moreira leaving as well.

In their statement, Reschke said that the club had “held very intensive and emotion talks with Hannes,” but ultimately they felt “that the danger that the current situation cannot be turned around in the current constellation is too great,” and that they needed “a new impulse to get back onto a more successful track.”

Wolf described his time with the club as “unbelievably intensive” and “wonderful,” with the experience of their promotion “will forever remain unforgettable.” He admitted though that recently “neither the results nor the performances were good enough,” and that the decision to “end our cooperation” had come “openly and respectfully” whilst meeting with the board.

Quotes via VfB Stuttgart.