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Steve McClaren dismissed by German club Wolfsburg

Steve McClaren
McClaren was the first Englishman to coach a Bundesliga side

Former England coach Steve McClaren has been sacked by German side Wolfsburg.

McClaren took over at the Bundesliga outfit in May after steering FC Twente to the Dutch title last season.

But he has struggled at Wolfsburg and has left with the club in 12th place and one point from the relegation zone after Saturday's defeat at Hannover 96.

"VfL [Wolfsburg] have parted ways with Steve McClaren. Pierre Littbarski is taking over," said a statement from the 2009 German league champions.

After spells as assistant to Jim Smith at Derby and Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, McClaren started his managerial career at Middlesbrough where his side won the League Cup in 2004 and reached the Uefa Cup final in 2006.

However, after being given the job of leading England in May 2006, the national team failed to qualify for Euro 2008 and he was dismissed in November 2007.

We have tried to make things work for as long as possible, but we have lost faith that we can bring success

Wolfsburg director of sport Dieter Hoeness

McLaren rebuilt his reputation after being appointed as FC Twente boss, steering the club to a first league title in their 45-year history and becoming the first English coach to win a major European league title since Sir Bobby Robson with Porto in 1996.

The 49-year-old could not replicate the same degree of success at Wolfsburg, winning only five of his 21 games in charge and he eventually lost the backing of the club only nine months into a two-year contract

"We were no longer sure that we could work with Steve McClaren until the end of the season with some stability," said director of sport Dieter Hoeness.

"We have tried to make things work for as long as possible, but we have lost faith that we can bring success.

"Following the recent negative results we cannot underestimate our situation in the table.

"Being only one point clear of the relegation places, we are alarmed.

"Now it's just a question of increasing the gap to the relegation places as soon as possible."

McClaren criticised forward Diego after the defeat by Hannover when the playmaker did not follow his orders to let striker Patrick Helmes take an 80th-minute penalty.

Diego missed the spot-kick and, with only one win in their last 11 games, Wolfsburg took action to change the club management.

"The players argued about it [the penalty] like kids in a playground," added Hoeness. "And because of that we were beaten in a match that we should never have lost."

Meanwhile, Wolfsburg chairman Dr Francisco Javier Garcia Sanz claimed the club had given the Yorkshireman plenty of opportunities to turn their season around

"We have not seen any alternative," said Garcia Sanz.

"Of course we all want to see continuity, particularly in the coaching position. Therefore, we have been waiting a long time with the decision.

"The supervisory board and management now believes, however, that the team cannot continue under Steve McClaren."

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see also
McClaren spared axe at Wolfsburg
23 Dec 10 |  Football
McClaren 'an option for England'
06 Oct 10 |  Football
McClaren appointed Wolfsburg boss
11 May 10 |  Europe
McClaren's Twente win Dutch title
02 May 10 |  Europe
McClaren turns Dutch master
30 Apr 10 |  Europe
McClaren named as England manager
04 May 06 |  Internationals

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Telegraph McClaren seeks swift return to management - 2 hrs ago
Mail Online UK Come and get me! McClaren eyes return to management after being dismissed by Wolfsburg - 3 hrs ago
Sky Sports McClaren targets a new job - 4 hrs ago Wolfsburg sacks McClaren - 14 hrs ago
Taipei Times Online Wolfsburg sacks Steve McClaren - 15 hrs ago