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Augsburg fire coach Schuster in shock move

BERLIN: Dirk Schuster on Wednesday became the sixth Bundesliga coach fired this season after Augsburg surprisingly sacked him after just six months in charge.

The 48-year-old only joined Augsburg from Darmstadt in July after predecessor Markus Weinzierl left for Schalke 04 and Schuster has been dismissed along with both of his assistant coaches.

The club says “different views on the direction and the way FC Augsburg want to play football” was the reason for the unexpected split.

Schuster has been shown the door after six defeats, five draws and just three wins from his 14 Bundesliga games in charge.

His replacement is the 37-year-old Manuel Baum, head coach of the club’s youth team, who has a coaching licence, but precious little experience in senior football.

Baum will be in charge “until further notice” as Augsburg have two league games left in 2016 — at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday and away to Borussia Dortmund next Tuesday.

The club is 13th of the 18 teams in Germany’s top flight and four points above the relegation places.

But last Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Hamburg was only their first defeat in four games after draws against Hertha Berlin, Cologne and Eintracht Frankfurt, who are all in the top half of the table.

With forwards Raul Bobadilla of Paraguay, Iceland’s Alfred Finnbogason and Brazil’s Caiuby all struggling with injuries, Augsburg have one of the worst goal records in the league having scored just 11 times in 14 games.

Schuster joins Norbert Meier, who replaced him at Darmstadt, Markus Kauczinski (Ingolstadt), Dieter Hecking (Wolfsburg), Bruno Labbadia (Hamburg) and Viktor Skrypnyk (Werder Bremen) who have all been sacked since September by Bundesliga teams. — AFP

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