SPORT

Fulham Coach Felix Magath Says René Meulensteen 'Destabilised' Team

19/02/2014 15:16 GMT | Updated 19/02/2014 15:59 GMT

New Fulham manager Felix Magath has blasted predecessor René Meulensteen for "destabilising" the Premier League's bottom club.

Meulensteen took charge for 17 games following Martin Jol's sacking in December but only recorded three League wins during his 76 days as manager.

In an interview with Sportbild, former Bayern Munich and Wolfsburg coach Magath accused the Dutchman of meddling with the Craven Cottage club's structure.

felix magath

Magath was nicknamed "Saddam" by some players in Germany

"My predecessor let them play very attacking football for four games. Then he suddenly rearranged the defence, and that destabilised the whole team," said Magath, adding: "my most important task is to bring in a clear structure".

Magath looked set to make a return to previous club Hamburg, second from bottom in the Bundesliga.

Bert van Marwijk was sacked by Hamburg last week, and Magath claimed he was prepared to work for free before he travelled to London to ink an 18-month contract at Craven Cottage.

Former Germany captain Lothar Matthäus claimed the 60-year-old had "messed a lot of people around [at Hamburg]", which Magath denied.

rene meulensteen

René Meulensteen lasted just 76 days as Fulham manager

"I didn’t mess anybody around," Magath responded. "I played with my cards on the table, and was clear that I had other options, but there wasn’t a universal support for me in the club."

A European Championship winner with Germany in 1980, Magath is nicknamed Quälix in his home country. Quälix is a rhyming mash of his first name and the German verb quälen, which means "to torture". Players used to label him "Saddam" behind his back, and former Eintracht Frankfurt player Bachirou Salou said Magath was the "last dictator in Europe".

He will manage Fulham for the first time at West Brom on Saturday.