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Hamburg fires coach Bernd Hollerbach in bid to escape drop

(AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, file)

HAMBURG, Germany (AP) Struggling Hamburger SV fired Bernd Hollerbach as coach on Monday after his failure to win any games since being appointed as a replacement for Markus Gisdol.

Hamburg, which is fighting against its first relegation from the Bundesliga, appointed former under-21 coach Christian Titz for the remaining eight games of the season.

Titz was to take charge of Tuesday's training in preparation for Saturday's visit by Hertha Berlin.

Hollerbach's last game was on Saturday, a 6-0 loss at Bayern Munich he partly blamed on the management changes announced two days before.

Hamburg fired club chairman Heribert Bruchhagen and sporting director Jens Todt on Thursday, and Hollerbach said the upheaval "unsettled" some players.

Hamburg's new president, Bernd Hoffmann, who narrowly defeated the incumbent Jens Meier for the position, said the changes were necessary because the club was devoting itself "to the new direction."

Hollerbach, a former Hamburg midfielder, failed to win any of his seven league games in charge since taking over from the sacked Gisdol on Jan. 22, falling to four losses and claiming only three points.

"We analyzed and discussed the overall sporting situation after the 6-0 defeat in Munich," said former deputy chairman Frank Wettstein, who took over the operative leadership at the club while it seeks a replacement for Bruchhagen.

"In the end we became convinced we had to act in the interest of our chances in the fight against relegation," Wettstein said of the talks, which also involved Hoffmann and sporting director Bernhard Peters.

Hamburg hasn't won any of its last 13 games and has the league's worst attack with only 18 goals in 26 games. The only remaining founding member of the Bundesliga never relegated since the league started in 1963, Hamburg is seven points from safety.

The club has been consistently fighting against relegation in recent years, escaping through playoffs in 2014 and 2015. Last season, the team beat Wolfsburg to avoid another playoff on the final day. This season is the club's worst yet.

Updated March 12, 2018

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