Then-Southampton's manager Ralph Hasenhuttl reacts during the English Premier League...

Then-Southampton's manager Ralph Hasenhuttl reacts during the English Premier League soccer match between Aston Villa and Southampton at Villa Park in Birmingham, England, Friday, Sept. 16, 2022. Wolfsburg fired coach Niko Kovac on Sunday, March 17, 2024, after a three-month winless run left the team 14th in the 18-team Bundesliga. Former Southampton soccer coach Ralph Hasenhuttl has been named the new coach at Wolfsburg. Credit: AP/Rui Vieira

WOLFSBURG, Germany — Wolfsburg hired former Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhüttl to replace Niko Kovac as coach on Sunday after a three-month winless run left the team 14th in the 18-team Bundesliga.

Hasenhüttl has signed a “long-term contract” at Wolfsburg and will take charge of training from Tuesday, the club said. It will be the 56-year-old Austrian's first job in the Bundesliga since leaving Leipzig in 2018 before his four-year spell with Southampton.

The team’s next game is March 30 against Werder Bremen.

Wolfsburg announced Kovac was leaving earlier Sunday following a 3-1 loss at home to Augsburg the day before. It was the team's 11th game in a row without a win, a run stretching back to December.

“In our internal review of the defeat against Augsburg and the overall situation, we came to the decision to end our collaboration,” managing director Marcel Schäfer said in a statement. “We regret this development but regard it as necessary to give the team a new impulse, in order to stabilise the situation."

Kovac, the Berlin-born former Croatia captain, won the German Cup as coach of Eintracht Frankfurt in 2018 and the league and cup double with Bayern Munich a year later. He also coached Monaco from 2020 through the start of 2022.

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