Mainz - 1. FSV Mainz 05 have parted company with head coach Kasper Hjulmand and appointed Martin Schmidt as his successor, the club confirmed on Tuesday.
Heidel: 'A hard decision'
A run of just one win in 13 league games has seen
slip to 14th in the Bundesliga table, with Friday evening's
leaving Mainz just a point off the automatic relegation places in Germany's top flight. Hjulmand replaced Thomas Tuchel at the Coface Arena hotseat in May last year, but the Mainz board have decided to wield the axe just nine months into the Dane's tenure, appointing Under-23 coach Schmidt as the 42-year-old's replacement.
"Anybody who knows our club's philosophy and way of working knows how hard this decision was for us to take," said Mainz's sporting director Christian Heidel. "Kasper's an expert in the field of football who, without any doubt, can develop and take his teams further. However, there were many factors which gave rise to a negative trend in these last 13 matches and led to us sliding towards the relegation zone." "There is different criteria in a relegation battle and that has led to us making a change of coach. This is why we are placing our faith in Martin Schmidt, who's known the club, the team and our style of play for almost five years.
Schmidt confident of hitting the ground running
Swiss coach Schmidt joined Mainz from Swiss club Thun in 2010, leading the Under-23 team into the third tier of German football. "Of course this is a big step for me now to be in charge of a Bundesliga team, but I don't feel like I'm being thrown in at the deep end," he said. "I've been close to the team and the coaches in recent years and I know how things work, so I'm well prepared. Now we've got a lot of work to do and we can't waste any training time."