Wolfsburg have appointed former Mainz coach Martin Schmidt as head coach on a two-year deal following Andries Jonker's departure from the club on Monday.

Jonker was relieved of his duties after winning just seven of his 19 games in charge of the Wolves, who needed a relegation play-off win over Eintracht Braunschweig in May to prolong their 20-year stay in the Bundesliga.

He has now been replaced by Schmidt, who guided Mainz into the UEFA Europa League in 2015/16 but endured a disappointing 2016/17, finishing in 15th place - only above Wolfsburg on goal difference. The 50-year-old Swiss left the club by mutual consent at the end of last season and was replaced by Sandro Schwarz. 

“We’re really pleased that we were able to bring Martin Schmidt to VfL Wolfsburg so quickly. He is the right man for the job ahead of us,” said chairman Dr. Tim Schumacher.

Sporting director Olaf Rebbe added, “I’d like to thank Martin Schmidt for agreeing to join us at such short notice. We’re convinced that his experience and his strengths are the right fit for Wolfsburg.”

Schmidt himself is looking forward to the challenge: “I didn’t have to think too long about the offer to take over at Wolfsburg. It was just a few hours between the initial contact and signing the contract. It’s no secret that Wolfsburg showed interest in me some months ago but at the time that was out of the question out of respect and loyalty to Mainz. I’m really looking forward to this job even if there isn’t much time to get my feet under the desk with two games coming our way this week.”

Wolfsburg are currently 14th in the Bundesliga with just four points from their opening four games. Schmidt will take charge of his first game at home to Werder Bremen on Tuesday, before a daunting trip to face champions Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on Friday.

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