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Struggling Cologne sack coach and sports director

Berlin (AFP) – Bundesliga strugglers Cologne have sacked both sports director Armin Veh and head coach Achim Beierlorzer following their eighth league defeat in 11 games.

Sports director Veh was dismissed immediately after the final whistle of Friday’s 2-1 defeat, thanks to a late penalty at home to Hoffenheim, which left Cologne second from bottom.

Then coach Beierlorzer, who had only been in charge for 132 days, was shown the door on Saturday.

“I regret that we are forced to take this step. However, the hoped-for success has failed to materialise and it’s our task to ensure that FC (Cologne) achieves its goals,” said club official Frank Aehlig.

Veh, who coached Stuttgart to the 2007 Bundesliga title, was due to leave next May, but was sacked after Hoffenheim converted a penalty in the eighth minute of injury time to seal Friday’s result.

With Veh gone, it fell to Aehling, a senior member of the backroom staff, to cancel Saturday’s training session and speak to the players after confirming Beierlorzer’s departure.

Caretaker coaches have been appointed to prepare for their next game against high-flying RB Leipzig in a fortnight.

Cologne are working on “finding a new head coach” who will “make a new start with our team” to try to lift them in the table, added Aehlig.

After the club secured promotion last season, Beierlorzer took charge in July, but was sacked after just five months.

He is the second Bundesliga head coach fired this week after defending champions Bayern Munich dismissed Niko Kovac.

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