Feb 13 (Reuters) - Werder Bremen coach Robin Dutt has a "plan" that will get his side out of their current predicament and put them back where they belong, among the Bundesliga elite .
Bremen, until recently one of the dominant forces in the Bundesliga, find themselves fighting relegation for the second season in a row and have not won a game since the winter break.
Lying 13th in the league with 20 points from 20 games, and only four clear of Hamburg SV in the danger zone, Bremen host Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday badly needing a win to reverse their fortunes.
Dutt left his post as the German football federation's sporting director to take over at Bremen last May, where he replaced Thomas Schaaf who had been in charge for 14 years and won one Bundesliga and numerous German Cup titles.
The 49-year-old said from the outset that it was not going to be easy although even he would not have expected December's 7-0 home defeat by Bayern Munich, nor Saturday's 5-1 home defeat to Borussia Dortmund.
Dutt, who made a name for himself after guiding Freiburg into the Bundesliga in 2009, reassured fans that he had seen it all before and could get the team out of their mess.
"(General manager) Thomas Eichin and myself have a plan for this club which we will follow whatever it takes," he told Bremen's website (www.werder.de)
"I believe, if we have the support of everyone, this plan will be successful in the long run. This plan is not just for the good moments but also for the bad times as well," he added.
Dutt, who has baffled supporters by constantly tinkering with the line-up, did not elaborate on his mysterious plan but insisted he was the right man for the job, as long as the club remained united.
"Werder hired me because they needed a strong coach, one who knows what he is doing, and that's me," he said, adding that he understood that fans were not satisfied.
"The criticism in Bremen over this difficult situation is entirely appropriate. It has been quite clear, but has not been insulting or gone below the belt. A lot of water will have to flow down the Weser before I get frustrated."
They are not the only big club in trouble in the Bundesliga.
VfB Stuttgart, champions in 2007, are one point and one place below Bremen and visit erratic Hoffenheim on Saturday.
Crisis-torn Hamburg SV, the Bundesliga's only ever-present club in its 51-year history, are even worse off after losing their last six league games, leaving them just one point off the bottom.
A predictable 5-0 mauling at home to Bayern Munich in the German Cup on Wednesday added to the tension as they prepare to visit bottom-of-the-table Eintracht Braunschweig in a key relegation battle.
Against a turbulent political backdrop at the club, it was still not clear on Thursday whether Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk would still be in charge of Hamburg, or whether he would be replaced by Felix Magath.
At the top, everything points to a 13th successive league win for runaway leaders Bayern Munich who host 16th-placed Freiburg, especially as the title holders have won all their home league games this season.
Their nearest challengers Bayer Leverkusen, who are 13 points behind, host Schalke 04 in a meeting of the second and fourth-placed teams while third-placed Borussia Dortmund are at home to Eintracht Frankfurt.
(Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne, Editing by Sam Holden Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org. To sign up for our Global Sports Forum chatroom, click on https://forms.thomsonreuters.com/global_sports_forum) (Reporting by Brian Homewood)
- Sports & Recreation
- Werder Bremen
- Bayern Munich
- Hamburg SV
- Borussia Dortmund
- Borussia Moenchengladbach