Stuttgart - Huub Stevens has stepped down as head coach of VfB Stuttgart following the Swabians' 1-0 defeat to FC Bayern München on Matchday 34.

The 60-year-old, who guided the Baden-Württemberg club to top-flight safety with wins over Hamburger SV, SC Freiburg and FC Schalke 04, took over the reins at the Mercedes-Benz-Arena on 8 March following Thomas Schneider's dismissal, but the Dutchman said he is looking forward to a well-earned rest.

Wahler 'understands' decision

"I've decided to take the sabbatical I had originally planned to take after leaving PAOK [Saloniki]," said the former FC Schalke 04 coach following the defeat at the Allianz Arena on Saturday.

"We can understand Stevens' decision," added Stuttgart president Bernd Wahler. "We're very grateful for what he has achieved at VfB. "He didn't think twice about stepping in to help the club out of a difficult situation and took up the challenge with relish. We wish Huub all the best for the future and hope he has a relaxing break."

Stuttgart ended the 2013/14 campaign in 15th-place, five points clear of Hamburger SV and six above the two automatic relegation places.