Dutchman Stevens to charge at Stuttgart - club

BERLIN Sun Mar 9, 2014 4:18pm GMT

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BERLIN (Reuters) - VfB Stuttgart on Sunday sacked coach Thomas Schneider replacing him with Dutchman Huub Stevens as they battle to avoid relegation, the club said.

Stuttgart said the change was necessary to jumpstart the team as they hover above the relegation zone on goal difference with ten matches left in the season.

"Huub Stevens will become the new head coach of VfB Stuttgart," they said in a statement, a day after a 2-2 draw against fellow relegation candidates Eintracht Braunschweig.

"The 60-year-old will lead his first training on Monday and will coach the team in his first game on Saturday at Werder Bremen."

Schneider, a former youth coach who is to remain at the club in some other capacity, had taken over in August but after a good first half to the campaign he saw his team lose eight straight games before the draw on Saturday.

Stevens was sacked by Greek club PAOK earlier this week and has considerable experience in the Bundesliga having coached Schalke 04 from 1996 to 2002, including their 1997 UEFA Cup win, and again from 2011 to 2012.

He has also coached Hamburg SV, Cologne and Hertha Berlin.

"He is an extremely experienced coach and knows the Bundesliga inside out," said Stuttgart sports director Fredi Bobic. "That is extremely important in the situation we are in. We needed a new impulse."

Stuttgart are 15th on 20 points, three above Braunschweig.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Rex Gowar)

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