Mainz sack coach Beierlorzer after poor start in Bundesliga

FILE PHOTO: Bundesliga - Bayer Leverkusen v 1. FSV Mainz 05 - BayArena, Leverkusen, Germany - June 27, 2020 Mainz coach Achim Beierlorzer, following the resumption of play behind closed doors after the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Martin Meissner/Pool via REUTERS

(Reuters) - The Bundesliga season, still only 10 days old, claimed its second coaching victim on Monday when Mainz 05 fired Achim Beierlorzer, one day after Schalke 04 dismissed David Wagner.

Mainz’s decision capped a turbulent week during which the players refused to train after forward Adam Szalai was suspended and told to look for a new club. That was followed by a 4-1 home defeat by promoted VfB Stuttgart on Saturday.

The club said assistant coach Jan-Moritz Lichte would take charge of the side until further notice.

“I am disappointed with the club’s decision,” Beierlorzer, 52, said in a statement. “Nevertheless, I wish Mainz 05 and the team all the best for the future.”

Beierlorzer, who had been in charge since November 2019, had said he understood the players’ solidarity towards their team mate Szalai but that their refusal to train was a completely different matter.

Both Mainz and Schalke have lost their opening two games.

Schalke 04 were beaten 3-1 at home by Werder Bremen on Saturday after being thrashed 8-0 by champions Bayern Munich.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond