BIELEFELD, Germany (AP)German club Arminia Bielefeld fired Frank Kramer as coach on Wednesday in a last-ditch attempt to stave off Bundesliga relegation.

The club said it had also released assistant coach Ilia Gruev ”with immediate effect” and that Marco Kostmann would take over as head coach for the rest of the season.

Kramer’s last game was a 3-0 loss at home to Bayern Munich on Sunday, not an unexpected result but the club’s seventh consecutive game without a win. Six of those were defeats. With Hertha Berlin winning the day before, it left Bielefeld second from the bottom in a direct relegation place. Four rounds remain.

”We want to give the team an impetus to stay in the Bundesliga,” Bielefeld sporting director Samir Arabi said. ”This is the target for us all. Everyone involved is being called upon. The time for excuses on and off the field is over.”

Bielefeld has won only two games since the league resumed after its winter break. Kramer’s record was 10 wins, 16 draws and 18 defeats after taking over from Uwe Neuhaus as Bielefeld coach in March 2021. Neuhaus led the team to promotion the season before.

”Kramer achieved survival with the team last season. No one can take that success away from him,” Arabi said.

Bielefeld next plays at Cologne before games against relegation rival Hertha, mid-table Bochum and third-place Leipzig.

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