NEW Fulham manager Felix Magath sees no reason to change the strict training regimes which have helped turn his German teams into winners – declaring “no-one has died”.
The 60-year-old replaced Dutch coach Rene Meulensteen last week and the club’s third manager of a rollercoaster season has been charged with lifting Fulham out of the relegation zone with 12 games remaining.
Magath won the 1983 European Cup as a player with Hamburg and appeared in two World Cup finals before moving into the dugout where he earned a reputation as “the fireman”, taking over in difficult circumstances to great success at Nurnberg, Werder Bremen and Eintracht Frankfurt before joining Stuttgart, whom he guided to Intertoto Cup success at 2002, which brought him to the attention of Bayern Munich.
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Successive Bundesliga titles followed, and Magath would go on to also guide Wolfsburg to the domestic championship in 2008-09.
Magath’s reputation was built on tough discipline – with former player Eintracht Frankfurt player Bachirou Salou labelling him as the “last dictator in Europe”.
The new Fulham manager, however, will not be about to alter his methods for what is unknown territory in the English game, having already called the Fulham squad in for extra sessions since his arrival.
“Why should I change my training? At the moment I am the most successful (club) coach of Germany. Why should I change?” he said.
“I don’t know. Can you explain?
Until now everybody has loved my training. Noone died.”
Magath added: “I am a nice guy, very nice (not a tough guy),” he said.
“Ask Raul about my work, don’t ask a player who did not know here in England. Ask the good players and you will get the right answers.”
Magath had been out of work since leaving Wolfsburg for the second time in October 2012.
The German, though, expressed limited sympathy for Meulensteen, his assistant manager Ray Wilkins and first-team technical director Alan Curbishley, who have all left Craven Cottage after results were not turned around.