A spirited performance in Gelsenkirchen proved to be the final outing for Peter Stöger as Cologne’s head coach, according to a report by Cologne news outlet Express. The club have yet to comment.Just minutes after Bundesliga bottom side Cologne battled to a 2-2 draw at Schalke, local Cologne paper Express reported that Peter Stöger had told his players he would be leaving as head coach.
The club have yet to comment.
“I could live with any decision, but one must be made. Above all, it’s important for the team,” Stöger told Sky Sports after the game.
Before his interview, Stöger went over to the away fans, removed his hat and applauded them. The 51-year-old said his gesture had been a sign of gratitude not departure.
“It was a message to the fans because they have carried the team even though we’ve not been picking up points. The steadfastness of their support has been impressive,” Stöger told Sky Sports.
After his 168th game in charge of the club, the Austrian did add though: “I assume that it [a decision] will be communicated clearly. A decision will definitely be made. We have agreed that a clear resolution must be found.”
He later told a press conference that he was in constant contact with the club’s management and expected a decision by Sunday.
Stöger joined Cologne in 2013 and guided them back into the Bundesliga as second division champions. He kept the side in the league, and led them to a remarkable fifth-placed finish last season and a return to Europe for the first time in 25 years.
This campaign though has been a tough one. Cologne have gone 14 league games without a win – the worst ever start to a Bundesliga season – and find themselves eight points off second-last Werder Bremen and 11 points off safety.
If his leaving is confirmed, former U19 coach Stefan Ruthenbeck along with assistant coach Kevin McKenna are likely to take over temporarily, according to Express.