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Uwe Roesler takes over at Bundesliga strugglers Fortuna

Berlin (AFP) – Former Manchester City striker Uwe Roesler has been appointed as the new coach of struggling Fortuna Duesseldorf in place of the sacked Friedhelm Funkel, the German Bundesliga outfit announced on Wednesday.

The 51-year-old Roesler recently left Malmo after a year and a half in charge of the Swedish club, and will now try to lead Fortuna clear of the Bundesliga relegation zone.

They are currently bottom of the table, three points adrift of outright safety, with Funkel’s final game in charge ending in a 3-0 defeat at Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday.

The veteran Funkel had been in charge since 2016. Aged 66, he announced his retirement from management following the sacking.

“My coaching career is over. I don’t know Uwe personally, but he takes over a team which is 100 percent intact. I wish him all the best and hope that he quickly settles with the team,” said Funkel, according to SID, an AFP subsidiary.

Funkel’s sacking came just a day after he was given a prize for coach of the year by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

“We have scored just 18 goals this season, statistically we are the weakest team in attack, and one of the weakest in defence, in the Bundesliga,” said sporting director Lutz Pfannenstiel.

“As a result, we no longer believe we can stay up if things stay as they are. We had to react.”

Roesler has spent most of his career outside of Germany since joining City in 1994.

He became a cult hero there and has since spent several years managing in the English lower leagues, having spells at Brentford, Wigan Athletic, Leeds United and Fleetwood Town.

His first game in charge will be on Saturday at home to Eintracht Frankfurt, who shocked league leaders RB Leipzig last weekend.

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