Nuremberg - 1. FC Nürnberg have relieved Gertjan Verbeek of his duties and appointed reserve team coach Roger Prinzen and club legend Marek Mintal to guide the Franconians until the end of the season.
Prinzen ‘a positive coach’
A recent run of defeats which has seen Nürnberg drop into the bottom two, saw the Club opt to make the change with only three games of the season remaining, in the hope it will spark a reaction which can stave off the threat of relegation.
"After the recent run of defeats, we held many discussions to examine intensively what measures were necessary in the current precarious situation in order to be successful in our final three games," explained the club’s sporting director Martin Bader. "We are convinced that, with this decision, we can make a difference."
Prinzen previously took charge of one first-team fixture in early October before Verbeek was appointed, and Bader believes he is just the man to get the best out of the team between now and the end of the current campaign. "He's a positive coach who is very realistic about the task in hand, but who will also approach it with the necessary optimism," added Bader.
Survival the only priority
Prinzen and Mintal, who spent many years at the club as a player, have three games to lift the club at least one place in the Bundesliga table, and at worst face a play-off for relegation. "I don't want to talk about relegation, but rather about survival," said Prinzen.
"Many people already have us down as relegated, but I'm absolutely convinced that we will stay up,” he continued. “I know what this team is capable of and that's what we want to show in the games that remain. Everything which has happened, has happened. We're starting over."
Making a second coaching change of the season was "not easy" but necessary, according to Bader. "Keeping Nürnberg in the Bundesliga is our utmost priority," he added, thanking Verbeek, who took over on 22 October last year, for his work. "He was always very meticulous."