Meulensteen out, Magath in at Fulham

Fulham have sacked Rene Meulensteen and installed former Bayern Munich boss Felix Magath as manager.

Meulensteen, 49, was only appointed as head coach in December after Martin Jol carried the can for the team’s poor results.

But the Dutchman mustered just four wins from 17 matches in all competitions, leaving the Whites rooted to the bottom of the Premier League, and chairman Shahid Khan said he had to take action.

The vastly-experienced Magath, 60, was recommended by chief executive Alistair Mackintosh and has been given an 18-month contract at Craven Cottage.

He has won the Bundesliga three times, twice with Bayern and again with Wolfsburg in 2009.

The former Hamburg, Stuttgart and Schalke boss has been out of football since leaving Wolfsburg in October 2012.

When Meulensteen replaced Jol a little under 11 weeks ago, Fulham were 18th but they have since slipped to the foot of the table, having not won a league game since New Year’s Day.

They were also humbled in the FA Cup by League One Sheffield United, who won their fourth round replay at Craven Cottage last week.

Meulensteen tried to arrest the slide by making a glut of signings on transfer deadline day, including spending £11m on Greek striker Konstantinos Mitroglou, who is yet to make his debut.

But in spite of battling performances against Manchester United and Liverpool this week, Khan said the club’s perilous league position meant another change in the dugout was unavoidable.

He said: “Our club has shown promise in recent matches, but the fact is we have not won a league match since 1 January.

“Given our form, we can no longer merely hope that our fortunes will finally turn and with 12 matches remaining, and at least four points separating us from safety, we certainly can no longer post empty results. Action was required.

“Felix is an accomplished manager with multiple honours in the Bundesliga and a hunger to replicate his success with Fulham in the Premier League.

“I’m especially impressed with the reputation Felix has for coming into clubs at difficult times, often late in the season, and lifting them to their potential and beyond.”

The appointment will cast doubt on the future of assistant head coach Ray Wilkins and technical director Alan Curbishley, with an announcement on the make-up of Magath’s backroom staff to be made soon.

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