New Hamburg football boss vows to ‘free players’ minds’

Berlin (AFP) – New Hamburg coach Markus Gisdol said he will try to take the pressure off his struggling players, during his official presentation on Monday.

The 47-year-old ex-Hoffenheim coach has replaced Bruno Labbadia, who was sacked on Sunday in the wake of Hamburg’s 1-0 defeat at home to German league leaders Bayern Munich on Saturday, their fourth loss in a row.

“I can’t promise any immediate results,” said Gisdol.

“It’s a huge challenge and we will try to implement our ideas about football from step to step.

“We have to try and free the players’ minds.”

Gisdol is Hamburg’s 15th coach in the last 12 years.

He takes over with the team third from bottom of the Bundesliga table with three points from their first five games.

His first match will be Saturday’s trip to Hertha Berlin, who are sixth.

Hamburg won the European Cup in 1983 and were runners up in 1980, but most of the last three decades have been barren years for the north German giants.

Managing director Dietmar Beiersdorfer says Gisdol “fits exactly” to the Hamburg squad because he “is used to working with young players”. 

Gisdol was sacked by Hoffenheim last October, after two years in charge, as poor results left them battling relegation, which they subsequently managed to avoid.

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