Arminia Bielefeld have parted company with head coach Frank Kramer after finding themselves in the relegation zone with only four games left in the season.
Having picked up only one point and scored only one goal in their last seven matches, the club decided a change was required in order to boost their chances of staying in the top flight.
Assistant coach Ilia Gruev also departs, with goalkeeping coach Marco Kostmann replacing Kramer as interim head coach until the end of the season. He will be supported by new arrival Michael Henke, a 64-year-old who enjoyed great success working under former Borussia Dortmund and Bayern boss Ottmar Hitzfeld.
Kramer had previously managed to save Bielefeld in 2020/21 after taking charge with 12 games remaining in the campaign. His side - promoted the season before - picked up four wins and five draws to climb from third bottom to fourth bottom by the end.
Sporting director Samir Arabi recognised the crucial part Kramer played last season but said the club felt they needed a change. "We want to give the team an impetus to stay in the Bundesliga," he said. "That's the goal for all of us. Everyone involved is required. The time for for excuses on an off the pitch is now over."
Watch: A defeat against Bayern cost Kramer
Kramer said it had been a pleasure to coach the club and backed his team to get out of trouble. "We managed to stay up last season from a similar situation and I'm firmly convinced that Arminia will achieve it this time too. I believe in the squad and have my fingers crossed for Arminia."
The 49-year-old former Germany youth teams coach has found things more difficult this term. Bielefeld were also second last and in the automatic relegation places at the midway point of the season, but they had ended 2021 on a high with back-to-back wins over Bochum and RB Leipzig.
After the winter break Bielefeld stretched that unbeaten run to five matches, but since then they have recorded just one win in 10 games.
The league's lowest goalscorers now need another late surge to avoid the drop. They lie two points behind VfB Stuttgart - who occupy the relegation/play-off spot - and three behind Hertha Berlin in 15th.
Bielefeld next travel to seventh-placed Cologne on Saturday before a crunch home game against fellow strugglers Hertha. They then round out the season on the road against Bochum and at their SchücoArena against Leipzig.
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