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Kaiserslautern sack coach Gerets

Eric Gerets
Gerets had been at Kaiserslautern since September 2002.

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KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany -- Struggling Bundesliga side Kaiserslautern have sacked coach Eric Gerets and appointed former Hamburg coach Kurt Jara.

Kaiserslautern slipped into the relegation zone following a 2-1 defeat at 1860 Munich on Saturday, their fifth match without a win.

"The impression after the loss in Munich led us to believe that a change was necessary," said Kaiserslautern chairman Rene Jaeggi.

"We didn't think we would be able to avoid relegation with the same staff."

Jara is set to conduct his first training session with the team on Wednesday, ahead of the crucial weekend match with fellow-strugglers Cologne.

"There were other candidates as well but Jara soon emerged as the first choice," added Jaeggi. "I am convinced that we hired the right man at the right time.

"Jara has a lot of football expertise. It is also good that he starts his job with a home game."

Austrian Jara, sacked by Hamburg in October, has signed a contract until the end of the season, but Jaeggi said that both sides will discuss a longer engagement over the coming weeks.

Four-time German champions Kaiserlsautern barely survived last season because of financial difficulties that earned them a three-point penalty at the start of this season.

But former Belgian international Gerets, who took charge in September 2002, saved the club from relegation and also steered them to the German Cup final.

Reinhard Stumpf, Gerets' assistant, was also dismissed.

• Relegation-threatened Hertha Berlin have signed 31-year-old striker Giuseppe Reine from Borussia Dortmund.

"We hope he's able to make a contribution to keep us in the first division," said Hertha commercial manager Dieter Hoeness.

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