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Mainz fires coach Kasper Hjulmand after slump in Bundesliga, replaces him with Martin Schmidt

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MAINZ, Germany — Bundesliga club Mainz fired coach Kasper Hjulmand on Tuesday after the team managed only one win from the past 13 league games.

Mainz appointed under-23 coach Martin Schmidt to replace Hjulmand, who joined the club last summer from Danish side Nordsjaelland. Schmidt, 47, joined Mainz from FC Thun of his native Switzerland in 2010.

PHOTO: FILE - The July 12, 2014 file photo shows Mainz' coach  Kasper Hjulmand from Denmark as he attends a test match between German Bundesliga soccer club FSV Mainz 05 and Swiss club FC Zurich, in Mainz, Germany. Bundesliga club Mainz has fired coach Kasper Hjulmand after the team managed only one win from the past 13 league games the club announced Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015.  (AP Photo/dpa, Arne Dedert, file)
FILE - The July 12, 2014 file photo shows Mainz' coach Kasper Hjulmand from Denmark as he attends a test match between German Bundesliga soccer club FSV Mainz 05 and Swiss club FC Zurich, in Mainz, Germany. Bundesliga club Mainz has fired coach Kasper Hjulmand after the team managed only one win from the past 13 league games the club announced Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015. (AP Photo/dpa, Arne Dedert, file)

Mainz's 4-2 defeat at Borussia Dortmund on Friday left it only one point clear of the Bundesliga's relegation zone.

Managing director Christian Heidel said Hjulmand was "a football expert who without doubt can develop teams" but the club had new priorities in the relegation battle.

"For our sporting survival, we need along with tactical discipline great passion, fighting spirit, aggressiveness and consistency," Heidel said, adding that he was convinced Schmidt "can give the team the stimulus it has been lacking in recent weeks and months."

Hjulmand had a hard act to follow after replacing Thomas Tuchel, who unexpectedly quit at the end of last season after five seasons in charge. Tuchel led Mainz to seventh place in the 18-team Bundesliga last season.

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