FC Salzburg head coach Huub Stevens and sporting director Dietmar Beiersdorfer have been relieved of their duties with trainer Ricardo Moniz given the responsibility of defending the Austrian title.
Stevens' departure follows a run of three draws which has left Salzburg third in the Bundesliga, five points behind leaders FK Austria Wien with nine matches to go. The 57-year-old Dutchman was Austria's coach of the year last season having won the league title and subsequently led the club into the UEFA Europa League, but mixed domestic form and an early exit from European competition have cost the former FC Schalke 04, Hamburger SV and PSV Eindhoven boss his job.
"I have great respect for Stevens as a person and for his achievements," said Moniz, 46 and a compatriot of his predecessor. "That's why I am approaching this task with mixed feelings. There is an emotional and a professional side, and the professional now takes priority. We want to get maximum points from our last nine games and to get further up the table."
Moniz's coaching credits include spells on the back-room teams at Tottenham Hotspur FC and Hamburg. Appointed Salzburg's technical coach last summer, he now takes the reins with former Croatian international Niko Kovač as his assistant, starting with Saturday's visit of LASK Linz.
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