06.12.2017 16:37 h

Bottom club Cologne turn to 'expert' Veh

Bottom side Cologne on Wednesday appointed former Bundesliga-winning coach Armin Veh as managing director in their battle to stay in Germany's top flight.

The 56-year-old Veh who led VfB Stuttgart to the German league title in 2007 signed a deal until June 2020.

He has his work cut out to keep Cologne up as they currently sit 11 points from safety and sacked coach Peter Stoeger on Monday.

"I am looking forward to the opportunity of tackling a sustainable project with Cologne," said Veh, who last coached at Eintracht Frankfurt in 2015-16.

"I see this as a major challenge and opportunity to make something happen at this fascinating traditional soccer club."

Veh knows his way around the Bundesliga after stints at Wolfsburg, Hamburg and Frankfurt, but his only real success came a decade ago at Stuttgart.

Former Germany captain Lothar Matthaeus welcomed the appointment.

"That was the right choice - Cologne have picked up an absolute expert," Matthaeus, a TV pundit, told Sky News.

Cologne are winless after 14 Bundesliga games and have put Under-19 coach Stefan Ruthenbeck in a caretaker role for the next three weeks.

Veh replaces Joerg Schmadtke, who left in October having joined in 2013 alongside Stoeger, and the duo took the club up from the second division.

Cologne finished fifth last season to qualify for the Europa League, but injuries, plus loaning striker Anthony Modeste to China, took a toll.

Ruthenbeck has only 11 fit out-field players for his debut as coach on Thursday in their final Europa League group game at Red Star Belgrade.

Cologne are second, thanks to their shock 1-0 win at home to Arsenal a fortnight ago, and victory in Belgrade will put them in the knock-out stages.