Struggling Hoffenheim fires André Breitenreiter as coach

SINSHEIM, Germany (AP): Struggling Hoffenheim fired André Breitenreiter as coach on Monday after seven months in charge and a run of nine Bundesliga games without a win.

Hoffenheim hasn’t won since beating last-place Schalke in the league and then the cup in mid-October.

Breitenreiter’s last game in charge was Saturday’s 5-2 loss at relegation rival Bochum. It left the team 14th in the 18-team division, three points above the relegation zone. Hoffenheim has conceded 17 goals in five matches in 2023.

“We made mistakes that have little to do with professional soccer,” Breitenreiter acknowledged after the latest loss. “Something has to happen, it can’t continue like this. It will be very difficult to survive (avoid relegation) like this.”

Hoffenheim signed American defender John Brooks from Benfica and Danish midfielder Thomas Delaney on loan from Sevilla in the transfer window to bring more experience to the team.

The 49-year-old Breitenreiter, who led Zurich to the Swiss league title last season, won four of his first six Bundesliga games to leave Hoffenheim in fourth spot in mid-September, but has beaten only Schalke since.

The club acknowledged that good start in its statement firing him. “We thank him for the pleasant cooperation and the many positive moments, especially at the beginning of the time we spent together,” sporting director Alexander Rosen said.

Hoffenheim, from rural southwestern Germany, has been a Bundesliga team since 2008 after a rapid rise through the lower leagues fuelled by software billionaire Dietmar Hopp, who was a player at the club in his youth.

Breitenreiter is the sixth Bundesliga coach to lose his job this season after Pellegrino Matarazzo (Stuttgart), Domenico Tedesco (Leipzig), Frank Kramer (Schalke), Gerardo Seoane (Bayer Leverkusen) and Thomas Reis (Bochum).