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New Hannover coach Schaaf eager to shake players awake

New Hannover coach Schaaf eager to shake players awake

Thomas Schaaf

(Reuters) – New Hannover 96 coach Thomas Schaaf says he needs to “shake the players awake” if the struggling Bundesliga club are to avoid relegation this season.

Schaaf took charge of Hannover last week following the departure of Michael Frontzeck, who resigned two weeks ago after just eight months in charge.

“It’s our aim to get ourselves out of this situation,” the 54-year-old told a news conference on Monday as he looked to improve the fortunes of second-from-bottom Hannover.

“We must internalise the belief that we can do it. We have to give each other mutual support, and we’ll need the fans too. Not everyone has been playing at their absolute best. We need to make some changes.”

With Hannover losing six of their last eight Bundesliga matches before the winter break, the former Werder Bremen and Eintracht Frankfurt coach faces a tricky start to the New Year.

Hannover face fellow strugglers SV Darmstadt 98 in their first game back following the break, before meeting Bayer Leverkusen, Mainz and Borussia Dortmund.

“We can play attacking football when we’re stable in defence. At the moment we shouldn’t be thinking about whether we’re playing nice football. We need to win points and play effectively,” added Schaaf.

(Writing by Pritha Sarkar in London, editing by Alan Baldwin)

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