Bayer Leverkusen will name their third coach of the season later today after Thomas Horster was sacked for admitting that there was no prospect of the club avoiding releagtion.

Champions League finalists in 2002, Leverkusen have endured a dreadful season and currently lie in the relegation zone, third from the bottom of the table with just two games to play.

Horster replaced Klaus Toppmoller in February but has done little to halt the club’s seemingly inexorable slide into 2. Bundesliga.

Speaking after Saturday’s 4-1 defeat by Hamburger, a downcast Horster admitted: “I have no hope any more.”

On hearing Horster’s remarks Leverkusen’s general manager, Reiner Calmund, decided to fire Horster, claiming: “We can’t afford members of the club not to have faith. If the coach has doubts, we have to react.”

Leverkusen have called a press conference this afternoon where they are expected to name the former NĀrnberg coach Klaus Augenthaler as their new manager.

Calmund’s assistant, Ilja Kaenzig, confirmed that the club had approached Augenthaler. The former German international was sacked as coach of relegation-threatened Nurnberg in April.