Babbel retains Stuttgart reins

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The Independent Football

Markus Babbel has been cleared to continue as VfB Stuttgart coach next season, despite not currently holding the required DFB qualifications.

The 36-year-old former Germany defender took charge at the Bundesliga club in November following the sacking of Armin Veh and has helped stabilise things at the Mercedes-Benz Arena alongside assistant Rainer Widmayer.

However, Babbel faces a coaching course at the official DFB academy in Cologne during the summer and next season as part of the agreement to stay in place at Stuttgart.

He told the club’s official website: “We had some good negotiations and came to the conclusion that it will work out, which means I will attend the next DFB coaching programme.

“It will be ten stressful months. This is not a special solution for me, but for all my colleagues.”

Stuttgart general manager Horst Heldt added: “Markus will be undertaking his coaching course while also running the team here.

“I suppose it could be that we could find ourselves in this position again in December, but we felt we had no option but to appoint him through to the end of next season, because of the need for stability within both the club and the team.”

Wolfsburg coach Felix Magath hailed the spirit in his club's ranks after the Bundesliga leaders maintained their title push with a narrow 2-1 at Borussia Moenchengladbach.

The surprise league leaders needed a late goal from midfielder Sascha Riether to secure the points and maintain their nine-game winning run.

"We just about managed to win a tough game, but it wasn't undeserved," claimed Magath.

"Gladbach were the more active side from the start. We were more cautious and were lucky not to go a goal behind.

"We were more compact in the second half and didn't allow much through. We showed real belief coming back after the equaliser and were able to get the goal we needed."