Christian Heidel (l.) and Martin Schmidt (r.) return to Mainz as board member for strategy, sport and communication and sporting director respectively. - © imago images / Horstmüller
Christian Heidel (l.) and Martin Schmidt (r.) return to Mainz as board member for strategy, sport and communication and sporting director respectively. - © imago images / Horstmüller
bundesliga

Mainz relieve Jan-Moritz Lichte of duties with Christian Heidel and Martin Schmidt returning

Jan-Moritz Lichte has been relieved of his duties as coach of Mainz, with Christian Heidel and Martin Schmidt both returning in a managerial shake-up, and Jan Siewert taking temporary charge of the first team.

Last Wednesday night's penalty shoot-out defeat to Bochum in the DFB Cup, after having surrendered a 2-0 lead at the Opel Arena, has prompted the Bundesliga strugglers to change their coach for the second time this season, as part of a wider range of managerial changes.

Lichte replaced Achim Beierlorzer at the end of September, after back-to-back defeats in the first two matchdays of the season. The 05ers won just one of his 12 games at the helm, slipping back into the relegation zone following a 1-0 home defeat to Werder Bremen prior to last week's cup elimination.

His place will be taken by Jan Siewert, the head of Mainz's youth academy, on a caretaker basis, until a new permanent coach is appointed.

Mainz announced on Monday that the club's former sporting director Heidel is also returning to the club to assume the role of board member for strategy, sport and communication, while  former coach Martin Schmidt returns to fill the newly-created position of sporting director.

"Jan-Moritz Lichte is an absolute football expert, who has made a special contribution to the club in a difficult situation," said club chairman Stefan Hofmann on the club's website. "We owe him our thanks for that. We have agreed with him that we will sit down together and discuss to what extent there can be a future role for him at Mainz 05."

The 05ers resume Bundesliga action with a trip to Bayern Munich on Sunday, 3 January.