Fink appointed coach of Hamburg

Thorsten Fink admitted he did not have to think twice before accepting an offer to become the new coach of Hamburg.

The former Basle coach was released by the Swiss champions to allow him to return to his native Germany and take charge at Hamburg, who have been without a coach since Michael Oenning was sacked last month.

He will officially begin his new job on Monday after completing the move north, and said he cannot wait to get started.

"When a club like Hamburg comes calling, then that is a great recognition," he told hsv.de.

"Hamburg is a top address in German football and I have always looked at them from when I was small.

"Not every club can look back on such a history and have such a structure. That is definitely something special.

"I did not need long to consider my decision."

Hamburg first made contact with Basle 10 days ago, but their initial approach was turned down.

However, they opened talks with Fink, who in turn requested he be released from his contract with the Swiss side.

After talks between Basle and Fink yesterday, it was agreed he would be released immediately rather than waiting until the winter break, which had been muted as another option.

According to a statement on the Swiss champions’ website, they did not want to proceed with a coach "who had already decided to seek a new sporting challenge, against his will, even if it would have been contractually possible".

"After weighing up all arguments, FC Basle therefore came to the conclusion to release their successful coach from the past two and a half years to enable him to accept a new challenge in his home of Germany," continued the statement.

And Fink has wished his former club all the best.

"I would like to really thank everybody who has helped me in any way, in particular the fans, in two and a half amazing years in Basle," he said.

"I go with the conviction that I am leaving behind a Basle team in excellent condition."

On the other hand, Fink joins a Hamburg side whose morale could hardly be any lower after one of their worst ever starts to a season.

With just four points from the first eight league games, the only club never to have been relegated from the German top flight are propping up the rest of the Bundesliga.

And Fink knows his number one priority is to save them from the drop.

"Of course our first aim is to stay up," he said. "We need to leave the relegation zone as quickly as possible.

"I see this as a big challenge. The aim has got to be to win every game, whether it be against Barcelona, Bayern Munich or Freiburg.

"Hamburg is a brand, a club with huge potential and a unique fan base. The current situation is difficult, but we certainly can achieve a lot.

"That will be my task. The possibilities and structures for successful times are here and we have got to look ahead."

Fink will not be on the bench for this weekend’s trip to Freiburg as he will instead be arranging his move back to Germany.

Hamburg’s director of sport Frank Arnesen will therefore take charge for just one game.

"I aim to be in Hamburg on Monday," said Fink. "I won’t be in the stadium on Sunday because that would just be a distraction for the players."

His vacated position in Basle will be taken by his former assistant Heiko Vogel, who will lead the Swiss side into a domestic cup fixture this weekend and a Champions League tie with Benfica at St Jakob Park next Tuesday.

"A technical commission will evaluate a definitive resolution to the coaching situation and leave all options open," continued the statement on Basle’s website.

"FC Basle will take all the time it deems necessary to find an ideal solution."

By appointing the man who led Basle to back-to-back Swiss league titles and to the brink of an historic victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford only a few weeks ago, Hamburg have certainly found their ideal solution.

"Thorsten Fink was the coach I wanted," said Arnesen. "He fits in with HSV and with our philosophy.

"He will improve the team and develop it further."