Berlin: Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday sacked coach Robin Dutt in the wake of his team's 2-0 home defeat by Freiburg in the German league with ex-Liverpool defender Sami Hyypia stepping in as caretaker coach.
Dutt was summonsed to a meeting with Leverkusen's director of sport Rudi Voeller and chairman Wolfgang Holzhaeuser on Sunday morning when he was formally dismissed.
For the rest of the season and the next six league games, Leverkusen's former Finland defender and Anfield favourite Hyypia will coach the team alongside Bayer's under-19 coach Sascha Lewandowski.
"We simply had to act and send a signal that we are pursuing our goal of international competition with a fresh wind behind us," explained Holzhaeuser.
After 10 years at Anfield, Hyypia, 38, left Liverpool in 2009 to join Leverkusen where he spent two seasons before retiring last year.
"We want the Hyypia/Lewandowski team to turn things around and start moving us in the right direction again," said Voeller.
Hyypia, who made 105 international appearances, is currently completing a coaching course in Finland and says he is looking forward to his first Bundesliga game in charge against Hamburg next Sunday.
"Against Freiburg there were eleven players on the pitch, but no team," he said.
"I know the team and firmly believe in them.
"Sascha and I want to show a team, who in the last few games haven't lived up to their potential, ways to make Bayer Leverkusen successful again."
Hyypia and Lewandowski will take their first training session on Tuesday.
"The players have Monday free to get their heads together and we need Monday to plan for the next few weeks," said Hyypia.
Dutt, 47, took charge in the summer of 2011 having joined the Werkself from Freiburg, but Saturday's defeat at the hands of his ex-club was the fourth in succession and left Leverkusen sixth in the league.
They are one of four teams on 40 points and must finish in the top seven to be sure of a Europa League place next season having reached the Champions League's Round of 16 this campaign.
Dutt is the eighth trainer to part ways with a Bundesliga club this season.
He follows Marcus Sorg (Freiburg), Michael Oenning (Hamburg), Holger Stanislawski (Hoffenheim) and Marco Kurz (Kaiserslautern), while Hertha Berlin sacked both Markus Babbel then Michael Skibbe this campaign.
Ralph Rangnick quit Schalke last September with burn-out.