Club legend Huub Stevens is returning to the Schalke bench in place of Manuel Baum in a bid to steer the Royal Blues off the foot of the Bundesliga table. - © via www.imago-images.de/imago images / Sportfoto Rudel
Club legend Huub Stevens is returning to the Schalke bench in place of Manuel Baum in a bid to steer the Royal Blues off the foot of the Bundesliga table. - © via www.imago-images.de/imago images / Sportfoto Rudel
bundesliga

Schalke legend Huub Stevens replaces Manuel Baum as interim head coach

Veteran Dutch coach Huub Stevens is set for his fourth coaching stint with Schalke after the Bundesliga's bottom club parted ways with Manuel Baum.

Stevens, 67, has been serving on the club's supervisory board since 2018, but he will now put his vast coaching experience to use once again after replacing Baum on an interim basis ahead of Saturday's home clash with Arminia Bielefeld.

The Royal Blues are currently on a miserable run of 28 matches without a win in the top flight, and they have appointed Stevens for their final two games of the year while they search for a permanent successor to Baum.

"The home game against Arminia Bielefeld is hugely important for our club," Schalke's Head of Sport and Communication Jochen Schneider said on Friday.

"The disappointing performance against SC Freiburg showed us that the side requires new impetus to be successful in this game. We trust Huub Stevens and Mike Büskens to do exactly that."

Watch: See how Schalke lost to Freiburg in Baum's final game

Assisted by former Schalke player and coach Büskens, Stevens is the third man tasked with trying to turn around the club's fortunes in the 2020/21 campaign.

David Wagner's 15-month spell as head coach came to an end when the Gelsenkirchen club followed up a thumping 8-0 loss at Bayern Munich on the opening day with a 3-1 home defeat against Werder Bremen.

Former Augsburg boss Baum then took the reins, but Schalke had four draws and six losses during his 10 Bundesliga games in charge.

On Wednesday they lost for the eighth time in 12 league matches this season, slipping to a 2-0 home defeat against Freiburg in what proved Baum’s final chance to get them off the foot of the table.

Stevens most recently served in an interim capacity for the last three months of the 2018/19 season, and the man voted the Royal Blues' coach of the century must once again try to help the club out of a sticky situation.

In his first act at Schalke between 1996 and 2002, the ex-PSV player led them to UEFA Cup glory in 1997, back-to-back DFB Cup titles in 2001 and 2002, and came agonisingly close to winning the Bundesliga in 2000/01.

He later worked as head coach of Cologne, Hamburg, Hertha Berlin, Hoffenheim, and VfB Stuttgart in a managerial career spanning four decades.

Schalke have not won a league game since 17 January, and Stevens - who had another 63 games on the bench between September 2011 and December 2012 - will hope that changes in their last league outing before the winter break.

Saturday's visitors Bielefeld are third from bottom and only three points above the home team in the standings. Following that match, Schalke visit fourth-tier side Ulm in the DFB Cup next Tuesday for their final game in a tough year.