BERLIN (Reuters) – From Champions League club to the threat of relegation, VfL Wolfsburg’s fall from grace has been rapid and with champions Bayern Munich awaiting on the final matchday of the year on Friday, the Wolves must avoid a sixth straight loss.
Florian Kohfeldt’s team are just three points above the relegation playoff spot in 11th place after having lost their last four league matches for a run of six defeats in a row across all competitions, including the Champions League.
Their last minute league loss to visitors Cologne on Tuesday threw them firmly into a crisis with calls from fans for sports director Joerg Schmadtke to resign.
Cologne scorer Anthony Modeste even mocked Schmadtke, who had worked with him there a few seasons ago, saying it was good to send “Schmadtke’s team tumbling into a crisis”.
Kohfeldt only took over in later October from Mark van Bommel following a then eight-game winless run.
He enjoyed a good start with three wins and a four-game unbeaten run before the start of their losing streak.
The Bundesliga will break for three week after this weekend’s matches and will resume on Jan. 7.
“It is clear that we have to keep our sights low and be very careful that it does not get even more dangerous,” Schmadtke told Germany’s Kicker magazine.
But the bad news keeps coming for Wolfsburg with forward Lukas Nmecha, who had scored against Cologne, ruled out for several weeks with an ankle injury.
“This phase is difficult and I can say that I will do everything so that we to get a point or a win at Bayern,” Kohfeldt told reporters.
“We do not want to play for a point. We have to sharply improve our form, each and every one of us.”
“We should not make the mistake and say that we have enough quality and have nothing to do with that (relegation battle). We have to start picking up points.”
The Bavarians have their own injury concerns with winger Kingsley Coman ruled out until the restart in January but any absences this season, through injury or COVID-19, have had little effect on their performance, having won eight of their last nine league games.
Bayern are in top spot on 40 points with Borussia Dortmund in second place on 34. Wolfsburg are 11th on 20 points.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Robert Birsel)