Frank Schaefer has resigned as coach at 1. FC Köln three matches before his planned summer departure with sporting director Volker Finke taking temporary command.
Four defeats in their last five matches have left Köln fifth from bottom, only two points ahead of VfL Wolfsburg in the relegation play-off position and four ahead of bottom pair VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach and FC St Pauli. The 47-year-old Schaefer informed the club on Wednesday that he feels the team needs "new impetus", adding: "It is my responsibility to make the best decisions for the team and the club. Because of the latest results I have come to the conclusion that I can't properly help the team in this situation."
Schaefer, who took over from Zvonimir Soldo last October, had already confirmed that he would not be available after the summer. "The decision surprises me," said former SC Freiburg coach Finke, 63. "The board and the management have asked me to take over at short notice. I always said that I wouldn't return to the bench, but this is an exceptional situation and we need to combine all our efforts. After the season I will concentrate on my duties as sporting director again."
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