After 14 uninterrupted years in the top flight, Hannover 96's Bundesliga stay came to an end after a disappointing 2015/16 campaign.
Season in a nutshell
Hannover's recruitment last summer left plenty of fans eyeing a top-half finish, with talented duo Oliver Sorg and Felix Klaus joining from relegated SC Freiburg. Hiroshi Kiyotake, meanwhile, was meant to step up and replace the goals and assists of the outgoing Lars Stindl. The Japanese missed the first three games of the season, as well as Matchdays 13 to 21, due to injury, although it was not just down to the absence of his creativity that Die Roten struggled. Coach number one of the campaign, Michael Frontzeck, stepped down at Christmas with his side in 17th and a point from safety having suffered a league-high 11 defeats.
Top three games
MD14: Hannover 96 4-0 FC Ingolstadt 04
Comfortably Hannover's biggest win of the season, three goals in the first 24 minutes inspired Frontzeck's men to a crucial three points.
MD29: Hertha Berlin 2-2 Hannover 96
Stendel's maiden game in charge of the first team brought immediate improvement as Hannover impressed in taking a point from the high-flying Berliners.
MD30: Hannover 96 2-0 Borussia Mönchengladbach
Goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler was one of the few constants for Hannover amid a turbulent season: the FIFA 2014 World Cup winner played every minute of every game, regularly turning in face-saving performances for his team. Few Hannover fans will begrudge him the chance to stay in the top flight if it comes along.