Peter Stoger admitted he was as surprised as anyone to get the call after taking over from the sacked Peter Bosz as Borussia Dortmund coach.
The former Cologne boss has been given a deal until the end of the season after Bosz was put out of his misery, with the club’s winless run extending to 12 matches with Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat to Werder Bremen.
Stoger, who left Cologne only days ago, was back home in Vienna when Dortmund came calling, and dashed back to Germany.
“I do not need more than this (short-term deal),” he said on comments on the club’s website. “I would have come for a few weeks.
“It is a surprising situation but also an extraordinary opportunity for me. I’m really looking forward to being the coach of this team in this stadium. This is something special. I will approach this with a lot of joy, and a lot of emotion. You only get a chance like this once in your life.”
The 51-year-old Stoger was sacked as Cologne boss earlier this week after an even longer winless run – they drew three and lost 11 of their opening 14 Bundesliga matches – but Dortmund hope to have hired the same Stoger who got Cologne promoted and then guided them to fifth – and European football – last season.
“In four years, Peter Stoger developed the team excellently at Cologne,” sporting director Michael Zorc said. “The team achieved great stability. That is what we miss at the moment.”
Bosz was shown the door with the club slipping to seventh in the Bundesliga, and already out of the Champions League.
The Dutchman took over in the summer but, despite a strong start, their form has deserted them and he has come under increased pressure. He was informed of the club’s decision at a meeting on Saturday night.
“Peter Bosz took the decision with a lot of style and thanked us for the trust that we had in him,” chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke said. “We still consider him a very good coach and, above all, a great person. The co-operation was excellent. We separate in the best possible way.”
Bosz issued his own statement, via the club, expressing remorse that he could not achieve more.
“Due to the given circumstances, we unfortunately did not manage to achieve the desired results,” Bosz said. “I am extremely sorry about this.
“I would like to use this opportunity to thank Borussia Dortmund, the club leadership, the team and the fans. I wish the club all the very best for the future and will be keeping my fingers firmly crossed.”
Stoger was due to oversee his first training session later on Sunday, with his first match coming on Tuesday night, away to Mainz.