Bayer Leverkusen fires Robin Dutt as coach

Bayer Leverkusen fired Robin Dutt as coach on Sunday following

the side’s fifth consecutive loss.

Former Leverkusen defender Sami Hyypia and the Bundesliga club’s

under-19 coach Sascha Lewandowski will take over until the end of

the season.

”I know the team and firmly believe in them,” said the

38-year-old Hyypia, who also played for Liverpool for 10 years and

was capped 105 times for Finland.

Hyypia said he and Lewandowski, who is two years older, want to

show his former teammates ”ways for Bayer Leverkusen to get back

on track for success.”

Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voeller and managing director

Wolfgang Holzhaeuser lost patience with the 47-year-old Dutt after

Saturday’s 2-0 loss at home to his former side Freiburg.

It was Leverkusen’s fourth Bundesliga loss in a row and the

latest in a disastrous run that started with a 7-1 thrashing by

Barcelona in the Champions League.

Dutt had taken over after his predecessor, Jupp Heynckes, who

led Leverkusen to second place last season, left for Bayern Munich

last summer.

Dutt’s assistant coaches Damir Buric and Marco Langner were also

released.

”We simply had to act and set a marker to reach our season’s

goal of international competition,” Holzhaeuser said.

Leverkusen is sixth in the Bundesliga on goal difference and

fighting for a Europa League place. It could end the weekend in

seventh with ninth-place Hannover playing Borussia Moenchengladbach

on Sunday.

”With the Hyypia, Lewandowski team we want to turn things

around and get back on track. The team is now under greater

obligation. We demand more at Bayer,” Voeller said.

Dutt is the seventh Bundesliga coach to be fired this season

following the sackings of Markus Babbel and Michael Skibbe at

Hertha Berlin, Marcus Sorg at Freiburg, Michael Oenning at

Hamburger SV, Holger Stanislawski at Hoffenheim and most recently

Marco Kurz at Kaiserslautern. Another coach, Ralf Rangnick,

resigned from Schalke to seek treatment for burnout.