BERLIN (AFP) - Markus Babbel will remain as Stuttgart's coach after the club held a crisis meeting on Wednesday in the wake of the Bundesliga side's five consecutive defeats and German Cup exit.
Stuttgart's bosses met in the aftermath of their side's cup exit on Tuesday night at second division Gruether Fuerth where they suffered a humiliating 1-0 defeat.
Babbel took training on Wednesday afternoon after meeting with his bosses and director of sport Horst Heldt said the 37-year-old will remain in charge with his side 14th in the league table.
"We looked at the overall situation and the entire executive committee made the decision: we will continue to hold onto this team," said Heldt.
"We are convinced that the club will find their way out with this team.
"Markus Babbel has given the impression that he can do it."
VfB president Erwin Staudt, financial director Ulrich Ruf and Heldt all met face-to-face with Babbel to discuss the situation.
But with Bayern Munich the guests at Stuttgart on Saturday, a victory over the German giants would really help Babbel's cause.
Rumours have already started circulating in the German media about Babbel's possible replacement with ex-Germany coach Jurgen Klinsmann mentioned by Bild.
Stuttgart's dismal season endured another low point on Tuesday when Markus Babbel's side were ousted from the German Cup in the Round of 16 in a 1-0 loss away to Greuther Furth.
Stuttgart dominated the opening half-hour of the match, but Furth were the ones to take the lead in the 32nd minute, against the run of the play.
Leonhard Haas slid in a wonderful pass for midfielder Bernd Nehrig, who got in behind Stuttgart defender Arthur Boka before dispatching a fine shot beyond Jens Lehmann.
Thomas Hitzlsperger and Zdravko Kuzmanovic tried to inspire Stuttgart with great play in the midfield, but striker Ciprian Marica, among others, failed to make good on the chances in the first half. Furth goalkeeper Stephan Lobou was also inspired in goal.
Stuttgart continued to be the better side after the restart, but the Furth defense held strong as Nicolai Muller blocked a drive by Kuzmanovic before it could reach Lobou in the 55th minute.
The visitors infused Julian Schieber and Aleksandr Hleb into the attack on the hour mark, but it was Haas that put a scare into Stuttgart when his drive from 28 yards went just high of Lehmann's goal in the 64th minute.
Elson missed a good chance at an equalizer on 71 minutes after a low pass from substitute Roberto Hilbert, but Marica missed a sitter seven minutes later with Lobou well beaten.
The Furth defense held firm to produce a famous Cup scalp, and the second-division club move on to the quarterfinals.
BERLIN (AFP) - VfB Stuttgart coach Markus Babbel will take his team to second-division Greuther Fuerth for Tuesday's German Cup tie with a place in the quarterfinals - and potentially his job - on the line.
Stuttgart's 1-0 defeat to Hanover on Saturday was their fourth straight defeat and although he has been given a vote of confidence, Babbel can not afford to see his side dumped out of the cup as they struggle in the league.
"There is no debate over the coach, Markus Babbel will sit on the bench in Fuerth," said Stuttgart manager Horst Heldt after Saturday's Hanover defeat which leaves his side 14th in the league.
"We really need results now, things are difficult and after four defeats it is hard to talk about things improving."
The words contradicted those of Babbel who moments before had talked about seeing signs of improvement from his side, with precious little evidence of a fighting spirit on the pitch.
"I was a fighter when I was a player and I would always want to fight," said ex-Bayern Munich midfielder Babbel.
Stuttgart are in the last sixteen only by virtue by virtue of an extra-time win over fourth division Luebeck in the second round and Babbel needs a convincing win from his side to reach the last eight.
In the round's other ties, Bundesliga sides Cologne and Borussia Dortmund must also avoid potential banana-skins at minnows Eintracht Trier and third division VfL Osnabrueck respectively on Tuesday.
Osbnabrueck were the talk of the second round after they knocked out Hamburg on penalties and the minnows will be keen to claim another Bundesliga scalp.
On Wednesday, Schalke 04 travel down to the Allianz Arena to play second-divion 1860 Munich who knocked out Bundesliga bottom side Hertha Berlin on penalties in the second round.
Cup holders Werder Bremen host former top-tier side Kaiserslautern while German giants Bayern Munich are at Eintracht Frankfurt in the only all-Bundesliga tie of the round.
Louis van Gaal-coached Bayern warmed-up for Wednesday's game with a 2-1 win over Frankfurt in the German league last Saturday so the sides will know all about each other when they square off again.
Greuther Fuerth v VfB Stuttgart
Eintracht Trier v Cologne
VfL Osnabrueck v Borussia Dortmund
Augsburg v MSV Duisburg
1860 Munich v Schalke 04
Werder Bremen v Kaiserslautern
Hoffenheim v TuS Koblenz
Eintracht Frankfurt v Bayern Munich