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Old boy Hollerbach handed Hamburg survival challenge

Berlin (AFP) – Hamburg appointed former player Bernd Hollerbach as the man to revive their flagging fortunes on Monday after the Bundesliga strugglers fired the previous coach Markus Gisdol at the weekend.

Hamburg are the only team never to have suffered relegation from the Bundesliga amongst its founding members, although the glory days of beating Juventus to lift the 1983 European Cup are far behind them.

Hollerbach was assistant to Felix Magath during relatively successful periods at both Wolfsburg and Schalke and his chief feat as head coach was to guide Wurzburger Kickers from the fouth to the second division.

“Bernd Hollerbach is our new head coach! The former HSV player has signed a contract until 2019 and will take his first training session this afternoon,” the club confirmed Monday.

The former full-back now faces a daunting task.

Hamburg have lost 12 of their 19 league games this season and their latest defeat, 2-0 at home to rock-bottom Cologne on Saturday, was their sixth match without a win and saw Gisdol sacked with the team second from bottom.

Gisdol lasted less than 15 months in charge, but Hamburg has been a revolving door in the last decade with no head coach managing to stay for two years.

Experienced coaches such as Bert van Marwijk, Mirko Slomka, Bruno Labbadia, in two different spells, and Armin Veh all had brief stints in charge.

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