Hamburg turn to Slomka, Van der Vaart injured
Hamburg are to turn to experienced coach Mirko Slomka to help them avoid relegation from the Bundesliga following Bert van Marwijk's dismissal, while captain Rafael van der Vaart is injured.
Ex-Netherlands coach Van Marwijk, 61, was sacked on Saturday night after Hamburg were drubbed 4-2 at bottom side Eintracht Braunschweig, their seventh consecutive league defeat seeing them set an unwelcome club record.
There was more bad news on Sunday when it was confirmed Netherlands midfielder and club captain Van der Vaart will be out for the next three weeks with an ankle injury after going off injured at Braunschweig.
Slomka is set to step in after spells at both Bundesliga sides Schalke 04 and Hanover 96, who sacked him in December after a string of away defeats.
Reports confirm Hamburg's board are in agreement to take on Slomka, with only details of the contract to be finalised and the 46-year-old is set to become Hamburg's 11th coach in just over 10 years.
The 46-year-old notably helped Schalke to second place in 2007 and he took over at Hanover 96 in 2010, steering the Lower Saxony side to the Europa League in 2011-12 and 2012-13.
After only 143 days in charge, Van Marwijk was relieved of his post, along with his assistant Roel Coumans, after an emergency meeting of the club's board late Saturday with the team second from bottom.
Hamburg have never previously been relegated from the Bundesliga and Slomka faces an unenviable task to inspire a squad low on morale.