Peter Stoger acknowledged his fortune in being handed a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” as the new head coach of Borussia Dortmund until the end of the season.
Stoger was presented as Peter Bosz’s successor at a news conference on Sunday, where it was confirmed the former Ajax boss had been sacked following a run of eight Bundesliga games without a win.
The slump leaves Dortmund seventh in the table and 13 points shy of leaders Bayern Munich, but that predicament pales next to the one Stoger left in Cologne only last weekend.
The 51-year-old Austrian secured promotion back to the top flight as 2.Bundesliga champions in 2013-14 and Cologne’s performances improved season-on-season, culminating in a fifth-place finish and Europa League qualification last term.
It has been a different story this time around, however, with Stoger departing on the back of a 2-2 draw at Schalke last time out. It was Cologne’s third point over the course of 14 winless Bundesliga games in 2017-18.
Dortmund chief-executive Hans-Joachim Watzke said the club spoke to Stoger before installing Bosz as Thomas Tuchel’s successor earlier this year and his subsequent struggles have evidently not damaged his standing in the eyes of the Signal Iduna Park hierarchy.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Stoger ahead of his first assignment as Dortmund boss at Mainz on Tuesday.
“I’m coming from a really, really awesome club. I’ve spent incredible years there.
“BVB are an opportunity for me and my staff to work at another level.
“It’s an incredible opportunity to work in this stadium and with this support.”
Herzlich willkommen bei Borussia Dortmund, Peter Stöger! pic.twitter.com/WzkaWw8nCx
— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) December 10, 2017
Manfred Schmidt will serve as Stoger’s assistant, with former Dortmund full-back Jorg Heinrich also part of the coaching set-up.
Watzke said he expected Stoger to be in charge until June 30 next year, with “nothing set in stone” to the extent that the new man is yet to sign a contract.
Additionally, Bild has reported Stoger’s appointment is merely a stop-gap before chasing Julian Nagelsmann – the Hoffenheim boss he will face next weekend.
Nevertheless, the opportunity presented to Stoger means he has no qualms over his apparently unclear long-term employment prospects.
“If given the opportunity I’d have coached here for 14 days,” he added.
“I’m very surprised and I don’t need more than six months right now.”
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