Klinsmann steps down as Hertha coach after 10 weeks in charge


BERLIN (Reuters) - Juergen Klinsmann resigned as Hertha Berlin coach on Tuesday after 10 weeks in charge, citing a lack of support and trust.

Former World Cup winner Klinsmann replaced Ante Covic as head coach in late November with Hertha lying in the Bundesliga's relegation zone, but surprised even club bosses with his decision.

It was his second unsuccessful spell at a Bundesliga club after also coaching Bayern Munich for less than a season 12 years ago.

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"We were on a good path and despite difficult games had moved six points away from the relegation spots. I am totally convinced that Hertha will stay up," Klinsmann, who won the 1990 World Cup as a player, said in a statement.

"But for that task to be completed, as head coach I need the trust of all those involved. In the fight against relegation unity, solidarity and concentration are the key elements. If they are not guaranteed then I cannot deliver on my full potential as a coach and cannot live up to my responsibilities."

Klinsmann, who was United States head coach from 2011 to 2016, had arrived pledging to turn Hertha's fortunes around and make them title contenders with the help of major investor Lars Windhorst.

Hertha spent more than 70 million euros on players in the winter break but have managed only one win in their last five league games and are 14th in the league standings, six points above the relegation playoff spot.

"We were surprised by this decision today," Hertha sports director Michael Preetz said in a statement. "Especially because there were absolutely no signs of it during the trusting collaboration on personnel decisions during the intense winter transfer period for Hertha."

Klinsmann's assistant, Alexander Nouri, will take over for the time being.

Klinsmann, who coached Germany to third place at the 2006 World Cup, said he would remain a member of the club's board.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Alex Richardson and Ed Osmond and Christian Radnedge)

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