Josef Hickersberger has stepped down as Austria coach because the team failed to reach the quarter-finals at Euro 2008.
“We played very well and partly sensational. But we didn’t reach the quarterfinals and didn’t accomplish our common goal,” Hickersberger. “I feel sorry and I draw the consequences from it.
“One has to acknowledge when his task is fulfilled,” Hickersberger said. “And my task ended with the elimination from the European Championship.”
“I am empty and tired, I need time off, must recharge the batteries. Chapter closed, mission accomplished.”
Co-host Austria were eliminated in the group stage after losing to Croatia and Germany and drawing with Poland.
Austrian football federation president Friedrich Stickler expects to announce the team’s new coaching staff in July.
“We’ll have to find a new coach very soon,” Stickler said. “We’re looking for someone who is experienced and is willing to continue on Hickersberger’s path, which means working with a young and ambitious squad.”
Stickler said he was “surprised” by Hickersberger’s decision because the coach initially agreed to stay on for the 2010 World Cup qualifiers.
“He told me he had personal reasons to decide otherwise in the end,” Stickler said.