Cologne fires coach Solbakken; Schaefer takes over

Relegation-threatened Cologne fired coach Stale Solbakken on Thursday, and named Frank Schaefer his replacement for the final four matches of the Bundesliga season.

Solbakken left FC Copenhagen to take over Cologne before this season, but the club sits 16th and in danger of relegation with just 29 points from 30 games.

Although Cologne currently holds the relegation playoff place, it is just two points clear of automatic relegation and 17th-place Hertha Berlin. Cologne is also just one point from Augsburg and safety.

Schaefer coached Cologne in the 2010-11 season, but left the club for personal reasons after just a few months in charge. He will take over the club ahead of a brutal final stretch.

Cologne faces fourth-place Monchengladbach, fifth-place Stuttgart, relegation- threatened Freiburg, and second-place Bayern Munich.