Bochum under-19 coach Butscher to replace departing Letsch

Then Bochum coach Heiko Butscher pictured prior to the start of the German Bundesliga soccer match between VfL Bochum and 1. FC Cologne at Vonovia Ruhrstadion. According to "Bild", the former professional will once again step in as a temporary solution and coach VfL in the remaining six Bundesliga matches. Bernd Thissen/dpa

Bochum under-19 coach Heiko Butscher will be in charge for the remaining six matches of the season after the departure of Thomas Letsch, the Bundesliga club said on Tuesday.

Butscher will be supported by assistant coaches Markus Feldhoff, Marc-André Kruska and Frank Heinemann. He already helped out as interim coach of the team in 2018, 2019 and most recently in 2022.

"I am really looking forward to working with the team. It is clear to all of us that it can only be done together. As a team, as a unit, together with our fans," Butscher said.

On Monday, Letsch was axed as Bochum coach after a slide towards the Bundesliga relegation zone following a late defeat at fellow strugglers Cologne on the weekend.

The club was trying to sign former Cologne and Borussia Dortmund coach Peter Stöger, but he reportedly denied the offer.

Bochum have earned just one point from their last six games since upsetting champions Bayern Munich 3-2 in mid-February. They are fourth last, three points above the danger zone with six games left.

"One thing is clear: we have to stick together at all levels to avoid relegation. We will do that, and we will move even closer together in the coming weeks," Bochum CEO Hans-Peter Villis said.

Their next opponents on Saturday are Heidenheim, who also defeated Bayern last weekend.

Letsch was appointed in September 2022 when Bochum were bottom of the table. They stayed in the top flight, and also had a solid first half of the current campaign before managing only two victories since the January restart.