Struggling Hamburger SV sacks Markus Gisdol as coach

In this photo taken Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018 Hamburg's coach Markus Gisdol grimaces after the Bundesliga soccer match between Hamburger SV and 1. FC Co

HAMBURG, Germany (AP) — Hamburger SV has sacked Markus Gisdol as coach following the side's 2-0 defeat at home to last-place Cologne in the Bundesliga.

Hamburg says its board of directors and sporting director Jens Todt came to the decision to let Gisdol go, along with assistant coaches Frank Froehling and Frank Kaspari, and that they were informed on Sunday morning.

Defeat to Cologne the night before was the side's fourth in succession and it left Hamburg just three points off the bottom.

Hamburg chairman Heribert Bruchhagen says, "We believe that a new impetus is urgently needed to achieve the previous goal of survival."

Gisdol had been in charge since Sept. 25, 2016 but never managed to steer the side away from the bottom half of the table. Hamburg — the only side to have played every Bundesliga season since the league's formation in 1963 — finished one point above the relegation zone last season.

While it finished five points clear in 2016, the club needed playoffs to survive in 2015 and 2014.

Hamburg says athletics coach Daniel Muessig will take over for Sunday's training session with a decision to be made on Gisdol's successor "very soon."