Bochum - Peter Neururer has been appointed as head coach of VfL Bochum 1848, replacing Karsten Neitzel with immediate effect. The Ruhr district club have also relieved sporting director Jens Todt of his duties.

Neururer, who led Bochum from Bundesliga 2 into the UEFA Cup during a highly-successful first stint with the club between 2001 and 2005, has been put in charge of team affairs until the end of the season.

Alarming slide

“The results in recent weeks and current league position, and most recently the team's performance against a direct relegation rival on Friday formed the basis for this decision,” supervisory board chairman Hans-Peter Villis said. Bochum currently occupy the relegation play-off berth, one point from safety and just three clear of second-bottom Sandhausen.

“With Peter Neururer as head coach, we want to avoid relegation, which is of paramount importance to the club,” added Villis. Todt was appointed as sporting director in the summer of 2011 with Neitzel joining as assistant coach that September. In October 2012, he began coaching the club’s reserve team before taking the reins to the first team a month later.

Good memories

“We thank Jens Todt and Karsten Neitzel for the work they have done and wish them all the best for the future,” said Villis. Neururer, whose last job was with MSV Duisburg until October 2009, returns to the club where he celebrated his greatest success as a coach. Having replaced Bernard Dietz in December 2001, he led them into the Bundesliga at the end of his first season in charge.

In 2003/04, Bochum finished fifth in the Bundesliga under Neururer’s guidance, qualifying for the UEFA Cup, although they failed to make it through to the group phase. He was replaced by Marcel Koller following the Westphalian club’s relegation in 2005, and shortly after his 100th game in charge and 500th career game as a coach.