Bundesliga strugglers 1. FC Kaiserslautern have relieved coach Marco Kurz of his duties with immediate effect.
Bottom of the table and without a league victory since 22 October, the Rhineland club have appointed Oliver Schäfer, Kurz's erstwhile assistant, and goalkeeping coach Gerry Ehrmann on a temporary basis. A permanent replacement for the 42-year-old Kurz is expected to be named in the coming days.
Chairman Stefan Kuntz said: "After the 4-1 defeat by Schalke [on Sunday] and a number of lengthy conversations, we mutually concluded that this was a decision that had to be made. In the last few weeks and months we have taken many different measures to put the team back on the road to success. Unfortunately for us, these haven't worked out."
Kurz arrived at the Fritz-Walter-Stadion at the beginning of the 2009/10 season, a campaign which ended with Kaiserslautern winning the 2. Bundesliga. Last term they finished an impressive seventh in the top flight but with eight games remaining they are propping up the table, five points adrift of SC Freiburg, occupants of the relegation-promotion play-off place.
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