Belfast Telegraph

Magath's job as desperate Fulham fire Meulensteen

Hotseat: Felix Magath has been appointed Fulham boss

Fulham have announced the shock appointment of German Felix Magath as their new manager on an 18-month contract less than 10 weeks after hiring Rene Meulensteen.

Last night's surprise announcement confirmed that Magath, a 60-year-old former Germany international who has been out of work since leaving Wolfsburg in October 2012, will take over with immediate effect as the London club attempts to avoid relegation after 13 successive seasons in the Premier League.

A club statement released by Fulham made no mention of Meulensteen, although it is expected that the Dutchman will now be relieved of his duties, having won just four of his 17 matches since succeeding compatriot Martin Jol.

"Felix is an accomplished manager with multiple honours in the Bundesliga and a hunger to replicate his success with Fulham in the Premier League," said the club's chairman, Shahid Khan.

"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. Felix knows that is precisely the task awaiting him at Fulham, and he made it abundantly clear that he wants and is ready for the opportunity."

Khan added: "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."

Fulham are bottom of the Premier League table but had shown signs of improvement under Meulensteen in last week's 2-2 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford. Wednesday's last-gasp defeat to Liverpool at Craven Cottage left them four points from safety.

Reports in Germany yesterday suggested that Magath had turned down the opportunity to manage relegation-threatened Hamburg in his homeland.

But after breaking the club's transfer record in signing Greece striker Kostas Mitroglou in January for £12m, chief executive Alastair Mackintosh has taken action.

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