Wolfburg aim to give Magath boost

Wolfsburg coach Felix Magath has been given a vote of confidence ahead of their meeting with his former club Schalke this weekend.

And now the whole team mobs him.

The Wolves have made a dismal start to the season with three straight defeats leaving them in the wrong half of the table, but Wolfsburg chairman Francisco Garcia Sanz believes Magath will put things right eventually.

"We have faith in Magath," he said. "He has always managed it in the end.

"Even during his first spell with us, we did not instantly challenge at the top of the table."

Magath led Wolfsburg to the Bundesliga title in 2009 before moving to Schalke, whom he led to the runners-up spot a year later.

However, things did not go according to plan last season for the Royal Blues who, despite reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League, struggled in the league.

Magath left with just a few months of the season remaining and was installed as coach of Wolfsburg less than 24 hours later.

Sanz is standing by his decision to reappoint Magath, with whom the club celebrated their greatest success.

"We have started to reconstruct a successful team," explained Sanz. "Thanks to people like Christian Trasch, Thomas Hitzlsperger, Hasan Salihamidzic or Patrick Ochs, we will soon see a real team again."

Schalke fans have seen the formation of a successful team over the last few weeks with three wins in a row taking them into second place, behind Bayern Munich on goal difference.

Magath's era is well and truly a thing of the past in Gelsenkirchen.

"It does not play a role for me," said their new coach Ralf Rangnick to the Revier Sport newspaper.

"We are not playing against Felix Magath but against Wolfsburg."

Elsewhere, Wolfsburg will welcome Nurnberg.

Saturday

Bayern Munich tore Freiburg apart in a one-sided encounter at the Allianz Arena which ended 7-0 to the hosts and Bundesliga league leaders.

Mario Gomez scored four and Franck Ribery was on target twice as Jupp Heynckes' side warmed up in style for their first Champions League group stage fixture against Villarreal on Tuesday.

Nils Petersen's first goal in the Bundesliga completed the demolition job in the last minute.

Claudio Pizarro scored twice in the second half, in the 53rd and 78th minutes, to take Werder Bremen second, level on points with Bayern, with a 2-0 win over Hamburg.

Juan Arango's 58th-minute strike ensured Borussia Monchengladbach went third with a 1-0 win over Kaiserslautern.

Hertha Berlin inflicted a second defeat of the season on reigning champions Borussia Dortmund with a 2-1 win at Signal Iduna Park.

Second-half goals from Raffael and Peter Niemeyer gave the visitors a 2-0 lead which proved sufficient, with Robert Lewandowski's late consolation the only response the hosts could muster.

Stuttgart posted their second victory of the season with a 3-0 home triumph over previously unbeaten Hannover.

Shinji Okazaki opened the scoring at the Mercedes-Benz-Arena in the ninth minute and late goals from Zdravko Kuzmanovic and Serdar Tasci made sure of the points.

Ryan Babel scored twice as Hoffenheim hammered Mainz 4-0.

The former Liverpool forward scored his first from the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time to make it 2-0 after Roberto Firmino's opener.

The Holland international made it three in the 74th minute before Nikolce Noveski's late own goal completed a miserable night for the hosts.

Sunday's Fixtures

Cologne vs Nurnberg

Wolfsburg vs Schalke

Saturday's Results



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