New Stuttgart coach Christian Gross has warned his players that they must give their all from now on.
Gross was appointed as the club’s new coach after they fired Markus Babbel on Sunday, and the Swiss has already made it clear to his squad that he will not tolerate any player giving less than 100 per cent.
“I always demand total passion from my players and I have always done so for the 20 years I have been a coach,” he said. “I am a positively structured person who has few negative feelings. You can lose a game if the opponent is better, but if the opponent was worse, then I explode.”
After six months without a job having been relieved of his duties following 10 years in charge at Basle, the 55-year-old was happy to accept the offer from Stuttgart.
“I am delighted to be here,” he said. “This is an honourable yet very difficult challenge. We have got to rescue what there is to be rescued. I want to get everything out of the players so that the fans will be happy again.”
On Wednesday, Stuttgart need to beat Unirea Urziceni at the Mercedes Benz Arena to book their place in the last 16 of the Champions League and Gross wants to kickstart his reign with a win.
“The very first thing I want to do is win on Wednesday,” he proclaimed. “I want to get an immediate impression of the players. Of course I know them well, but I want to get to know them better as quickly as possible. I want courageous players and players who give something back to the fans.
“I always work in a performance-related manner and I want to make it clear to the players that they have an important job to do.”
Stuttgart president Erwin Staudt explained his reasons for firing babel just months after he led the club to a place in the Champions League.
“Up to the summer, we had every reason to be delighted about qualifying for the Champions League and I am very grateful to Markus Babbel and his coaching team for that,” he said. “But we have not been successful this season despite all of our efforts.
“We wanted to maintain continuity, but there is a limit to everything when your goals are endangered. We reached this point and we could see that yesterday.
“I am now delighted to introduce Christian Gross as our new coach. He stands for success and experience and has shown that he can work with young players. He now wants to prove himself in the Bundesliga and I am sure he will give it everything to lead Stuttgart out of this difficult situation.”