Former U.S. men’s national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann has been named Hertha Berlin’s new coach on a contract until the end of the 2019-20 campaign, after Ante Covic was relieved of his managerial duties on Wednesday.
Hertha sit 15th in the Bundesliga after 12 fixtures, having lost their last four matches, with a 4-0 defeat at Augsburg on Sunday marking their latest setback.
Pressure had been mounting on Covic in recent weeks, and it has now been confirmed that he has left the club after just five months in charge.
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The 44-year-old had spent the last 20 years of his career at the Olympiastadion, both as a player and a manager of the club’s academy side, before accepting the top job at senior level back in July.
Hertha’s sporting director Michael Preetz announced the decision to part ways with Covic on Wednesday morning, stating: “It was an extremely difficult decision for us, because Ante has been part of Hertha BSC for more than 20 years.
“He has conducted himself with a lot of passion, expertise and meticulousness ever since he took over as head coach of the first team in the summer.
“We regret that it has come to this, but ultimately, in terms of development and recent results, we felt there was a need for action. I would like to thank Ante for his commitment and in time we will talk to him about alternative ways for him to be involved with Hertha BSC.”
Covic expressed his disappointment after the decision was made, but admitted that “the club is more important than individuals” and that performances have not been up to the required standard under his stewardship.
“The way we’ve been playing recently and the results have led to this decision,” he said. “Since Hertha BSC is not just an employer to me, such a decision hurts, of course.
“But I have always said that this club is more important than individuals. I love not only this profession, but I love this club with all my heart.”
Klinsmann, 55, was appointed to Hertha’s supervisory board three weeks ago and has now been charged with the task of turning around fortunes at the Olympiastadion.
It is the former Germany forward’s first role in his homeland since an ill-fated spell in charge of Bayern Munich in 2008-09. Klinsmann led Germany’s national squad from 2004-06 and the USMNT from 2011-16.
Hertha are due to host Borussia Dortmund in Klinsmann’s first game in charge on Saturday, before taking in a trip to Eintracht Frankfurt the following Friday.