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Hamburger SV fires Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk after 8 straight losses

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HAMBURG - Hamburger SV sacked Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk on Saturday after the side's seventh consecutive Bundesliga loss, its eighth overall.

"We were forced to make this decision at this time, although we regret it," Hamburg sporting director Oliver Kreuzer said. "We thank Bert van Marwijk for his work."

The club announced Van Marwijk's dismissal and that of his assistant Roel Coumans "with immediate effect" following a 4-2 loss at Eintracht Braunschweig. The defeat allowed the league's bottom side to move within a point of Hamburg with 13 games remaining.

Hamburg, the only side to have played every season of the Bundesliga since its formation in 1963, said it was "responding to the seventh loss in a row and to slipping to 17th in the table."

Hamburg also lost 5-0 to Bayern Munich in the German Cup on Wednesday.

Kreuzer and chief executive Carl-Edgar Jarchow had backed the 61-year-old Van Marwijk to keep his job during a week of turmoil at the club, despite pressure from within to appoint former coach and player Felix Magath in his place. In a surprise move, Magath was appointed coach of Premier League bottom side Fulham on Friday.

Van Marwijk, a former Netherlands coach, lasted only 143 days in the job since taking over on Sept. 24. His predecessor, Thorsten Fink, was also fired following Hamburg's lacklustre start to the Bundesliga.

Former Hannover coach Mirko Slomka is reportedly the favourite to help the club stave off its first relegation.

Hamburg has the worst defence in the Bundesliga with 51 goals conceded in 21 games. The side has conceded at least three goals in its last seven games in all competitions.

Van Marwijk was the fourth Dutchman to coach Hamburg after Huub Stevens, Martin Jol und Ricardo Moniz. He previously led the Netherlands to the 2010 World Cup final but resigned after a disappointing Euro 2012. He also coached Dutch sides Fortuna Sittard and Feyenoord (twice) as well as Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund.

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