Rene Meulensteen blasts Fulham owner Shahid Khan and accuses him of 'freaking out' after he was replaced with Felix Magath
News broke late on Friday evening that Meulensteen had been replaced by the German having only lasted 74 days as head coach
Saturday 15 February 2014
Rene Meulensteen accused Fulham owner Shahid Khan of “freaking out” after the Dutchman was replaced by Felix Magath at the helm on Friday.
Meulensteen, originally brought in as first-team coach under Martin Jol then promoted when he compatriot was shown the door, was sacked after just 75 days in charge with Fulham four points adrift of Barclays Premier League safety.
Fulham have impressed recently in a 2-2 draw with Manchester United and an unlucky 3-2 loss to Liverpool, but that was not enough to save a frustrated Meulensteen.
He told BBC Radio 5 Live: "I am very, very surprised, very disappointed, very frustrated as well, because the job that I stepped into was one that took me by surprise from the start, because that was not anticipated with Martin Jol leaving and obviously you then have to step into situation which is not the best.
"You need to try and make things better as soon as you can, but you're playing with a deck of cards that are not yours.
"I haven't really been given any time to make that work. I thought the performance against Manchester United and Liverpool were very, very good and it was unfortunate that we did not pick up the points that we deserved.
"Twelve games to go, plenty of points to play for and I'm sure we would have turned it around.
"I've not been told anything. I knew the owners were freaking out and panicking about the fact that Fulham could get relegated, but they've had that sort of attitude already 10 games back.
"They've hit the panic button on emotions of fear, but hey-ho, that's what happens in football. It's not always fair."
The Dutchman, who was not mentioned in the club statement announcing Magath's arrival, is unsure what will happen to assistant manager Ray Wilkins and first-team technical director Alan Curbishley.
Read More: Fulham farce as Meulensteen is cast aside
Meulensteen was told the news by chief executive Alistair Mackintosh, although Khan said in an official club statement that "action was required".
Khan, who bought out Mohamed Al Fayed last summer, said: "Given our form, we can no longer merely hope that our fortunes will finally turn. And with 12 matches remaining and at least four points separating us from safety, we certainly can no longer post empty results. Action was required.
"Alistair Mackintosh did a wonderful job during the January transfer window to improve our club.
"This week, Alistair recommended Felix, with his history of producing results for clubs with similar challenges as ours, as the new manager of Fulham.
"Alistair's recommendation received my complete approval and Felix has my unequivocal support."
Magath, who has been given an 18-month contract, led Bayern Munich to the Bundesliga in 2005 and 2006 before achieving the same feat with Wolfsburg in 2009.
The job is the 60-year-old's first in club management since leaving Wolfsburg in 2012 and comes at the end of a week in which he had been strongly linked with a return to former club Hamburg.
"Here we go again, I'm coming back into football," Magath said via his Facebook account. "I am manager of Fulham with immediate effect. It's a fantastic working environment for any coach and footballer.
"This amazing club, steeped in tradition, and its owner Shahid Khan have totally convinced me and given me the managerial responsibility."
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