Galatasaray AŞ have dismissed German coach Michael Skibbe in the wake of Sunday's 5-2 defeat by Kocaelispor, with Bülent Korkmaz being named as his replacement in time for Thursday's UEFA Cup decider against FC Girondins de Bordeaux.
The 40-year-old Korkmaz has returned to the club he served as a defender from 1984 to 2005 on an 18-month contract, having spent the last few seasons coaching Kayseri Erciyesspor, Bursaspor and Gençlerbirliği SK. Capped 102 times for Turkey, Korkmaz spent his entire playing career with Galatasaray, winning eight league titles and six Turkish Cups as well as the 2000 UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup. His first task will be to win the Round of 32 tie against Bordeaux, with the score 0-0 going into the second leg in Istanbul.
Defeat by second-bottom Kocaelispor left Galatasaray fifth in the Turkish table, eight points adrift of leaders Sivasspor, with their grip on the title they reclaimed from Fenerbahçe SK in 2007/08 seemingly slipping. Former BV Borussia Dortmund and Bayer 04 Leverkusen coach Skibbe took over at Galatasaray in June following the resignation of countryman Karl-Heinz Feldkamp.
The 43-year-old Skibbe said: "We had too many setbacks during the course of the season such as a succession of injuries and some bad results. The financial situation of the club was not comfortable enough to overcome that. I have to admit that the displays of my team against Antalyaspor [AŞ] and Kocaelispor were disappointing for me. Galatasaray were an important point in my career and I would have liked to see that adventure finish with a happy ending. We couldn't establish a solid defensive formation and that prevented us reaching the point that we desired. For me, the key to success is a good defensive organisation rather than in attack."
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