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Baumgart to coach relegation-battling Cologne next season

Berlin (AFP) – Relegation-threatened Bundesliga club Cologne on Tuesday named Steffen Baumgart from second-tier side Paderborn as head coach for next season — whether or not his new club remains in Germany’s top flight.

Cologne are second-from-bottom and need two points to escape the bottom three with games to come against fellow-strugglers Hertha Berlin and bottom side Schalke, who are already relegated.

Baumgart, 49, took Paderborn from the third division to the Bundesliga after taking the reins in 2017, but stayed with the club when they were relegated back to the second division at the end of last season.

The former striker will replace caretaker coach Friedhelm Funkel, who has won two of his four games since taking over from Markus Gisdol.

“We are delighted that Steffen Baumgart has decided to join Cologne,” said the club’s sports director Horst Heldt.

“He has done an outstanding job in Paderborn over the past few years.

“He has proven that he can develop players no matter what age and make them better.”

Baumgart will see out his four-year long Paderborn contract which expires at the end of the season.

“It was now time for me to make a change. The talks with Cologne were open and I’m looking forward to my new challenge,” said Baumgart, who has signed a two-year contract with his future club.

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