Middendorp aims to lift Arminia

Ernst Middendorp has begun his third spell in charge of DSC Arminia Bielefeld while fellow Bundesliga strugglers VfL Bochum 1848 have rewarded coach Marcel Koller.

Ernst Middendorp has begun his third spell in charge of Bundesliga club DSC Arminia Bielefeld while VfL Bochum 1848 have handed their coach Marcel Koller a boost.

Spell abroad
The 48-year-old Middendorp replaces Frank Geideck, who had taken temporary charge after Thomas von Heesen stepped down five weeks ago. Middendorp previously held the post between 1988 and 1990 and 1994 and 1998. The latter spell saw him lead the team from the third tier to the top flight. His last coaching job saw him in charge of South African side Kaiser Chiefs FC.

'Realistic goal'
Geideck will work as Middendorp's assistant, along with Jörg Weber. Under him, Arminia won one game and lost four, a run of form that left them 17th in the Bundesliga. They are just a point from the safety but are only two points ahead of last-placed VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach. WIth nine rounds left, Middendorp is ready for the fight. "It is a realistic goal to avoid relegation," he said.

Koller reward
Bochum, in 15th position, are the team Arminia are looking to catch. The club have also made taken action on the managerial front today, by handing Koller a new contract until summer 2008. Chairman Werner Altegoer said the 46-year-old was doing "tremendous work" and added the deal would help them to plan for next season, whatever the division. "We have a common goal, we want to establish the club in the Bundesliga," said Koller.