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Werder Bremen sack coach Skripnik

Berlin (AFP) – Werder Bremen’s Viktor Skripnik on Sunday became the first Bundesliga coach sacked this season after a fourth straight defeat marked the club’s worst ever start.

After nearly two years in charge, mostly battling to avoid relegation, the 46-year-old was axed in the wake of Saturday’s 4-1 German league defeat at Borussia Moenchengladbach when Bremen leaked three goals in the opening 21 minutes.

His assistant coaches, Florian Kohfeldt and ex-Germany international Torsten Frings, have also left the club.

The Gladbach defeat leaves Bremen bottom of the German league table with zero points and 12 goals conceded after just three league games.

Under-23 coach Alexander Nouri will stand-in as first team coach until a successor is found for Skripnik, a former Ukranian international who helped Werder to a league and cup double as a player in 2004.

The decision to relieve Skripnik of his duties came on the bus ride home from Gladbach with Bremen to host Mainz on Wednesday in the German league.

“We spoke once more about the situation on the bus ride home and came to the decision,” said Bremen’s director of sport Frank Baumann.

“We took this decision because after the match at Moenchengladbach, we no longer held the conviction that a positive turnaround was possible in the current configuration.”

Skripnik said his goodbyes to Bremen’s staff on Sunday and was said to have taken the decision “with disappointment, but professionalism”.

Monday’s recovery session will be taken by the club’s fitness coaches and from Tuesday, Nouri will prepare the team for Wednesday’s visit of Mainz.

After leaking 14 goals, and scoring just three times, in four straight defeats — three in the league and one in the German cup — this has been the worst start to a season in Bremen’s history.

After a 6-0 hammering at Bayern Munich in the opening game of the season, Bremen were beaten 2-1 at home by Augsburg and then demolished by Gladbach.

The dreadful start to the league campaign came after Werder was knocked out of the German Cup 2-1 by third division Sportfreunde Lotte in the first round last month.

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