Hamburger SV have appointed Bernd Hollerbach as their new head coach, a day after parting company with Markus Gisdol.
Gisdol was sacked after the 2-0 defeat to relegation rivals 1. FC Köln on Saturday, which left them five points adrift of safety in the Bundesliga table.
Hollerbach returned to the club he spent eight years at as a player, and has signed a contract until the summer of 2019.
Holler-back at Hamburg
Hollerbach, a left-back as a player, finished his playing days with Hamburg, amassing just short of 200 Bundesliga appearances for Der Dino between 1996 and 2004. After retiring, he went on to manage amateur sides VfL 93 Hamburg and VfB Lübeck, before becoming an assistant to Felix Magath at both VfL Wolfsburg, in two spells, and Schalke 04.
In the summer of 2014 he took over at hometown club Würzburger Kickers, leading them to back-to-back promotions from the Regionalliga Bayern into the 2. Bundesliga. Despite a solid first half of the campaign in the second tier last season, they failed to record a single win after Christmas and were ultimately relegated back to the 3. Liga, with Hollerbach parting company with the club last summer.
Speaking at Hollerbach’s unveiling, Sporting Director Jens Todt said that the 48-year-old had managed those achievements with “limited resources,” believing he had “the right mixture of authority and cordiality,” no doubt hoping he will be able to do the same for Hamburg.
Hollerbach meanwhile described himself as “HSV through and through,” and that he was “very grateful to the club and would like to give something back.” He is confident of the task at hand, saying that “I will always give everything” and that he would ensure “we will do all we can to stay up.”
By this point he had already taken his first training session with the team, saying that “it was important” for him “to meet the team quickly and gather my first impressions.” He feels that “the team is obviously lacking confidence after recent,” however he added that he had “observed a really enthusiastic team.”
Four wins all season
Although Hamburg have developed a reputation for surviving relegation against the odds in recent years, Hollerbach will still have his work cut out to keep up their ever-present record in the Bundesliga.
Gisdol paid the price on Sunday for a campaign that has seen just four wins in 19 matches, including four defeats in a row either side of the winter break. The defeat to Köln had following a narrow 1-0 loss away to FC Augsburg the weekend before. The Billy Goats, bottom of the table, closed the gap on Hamburg to just three points, whilst 1. FSV Mainz 05 in 15th place are five points clear of them.
Along with assistants Frank Fröhling and Frank Kaspari, Gisdol was relieved of his duties on Sunday morning after 16 months in charge. Chairman Hereibert Bruchhagen explained that the club believed “that a new impulse is required urgently in order for us to achieve our goal of staying in the Bundesliga.”
Hollerbach will face a tough first game in charge away at RB Leipzig on Saturday, although Hamburg surprisingly won the corresponding fixture 3-0 last season.