GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany (AP)Schalke hired Thomas Reis as its coach with a mission to save the team from relegation, the German club said Thursday.

Reis joins just over a month after he was fired by Bochum, Schalke’s local rival and a key opponent in the relegation fight.

Schalke is last with one win from 11 games as it tries to build on promotion back to the Bundesliga last season, hampered by ongoing financial problems.

”The challenge is without question a big one, but I am firmly convinced that we have the required quality in the squad to achieve our big goal together,” Reis said in a club statement.

Reis succeeds Frank Kramer, who was fired last week after just four months in charge on a run of five successive defeats. Sporting director Rouven Schroder resigned abruptly Wednesday citing personal reasons.

Reis managed to keep Bochum in the Bundesliga last season after promotion – just as Schalke aims to do – but was fired after losing the first six games of this season. The last game that he oversaw was a 3-1 loss to Schalke.

Schalke said Reis took charge of training Thursday ahead of hosting Freiburg in the Bundesliga on Sunday.

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