independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Holtby calm over Magath arrival

Lewis Holtby, pictured, has played under Felix Magath at Schalke

Lewis Holtby is calm about the appointment of Felix Magath as Fulham manager despite enduring a frustrating spell under the three-time Bundesliga-winning boss earlier in his career.

On Friday, the bottom-placed west Londoners took drastic action in their bid to stave off relegation from the Barclays Premier League, ending Rene Meulensteen's 75-day reign and appointing Magath on an 18-month deal.

Holtby, who moved to Craven Cottage on loan in January, was asked about the potential arrival of Louis van Gaal while still at Tottenham and before Tim Sherwood's appointment as Andre Villas-Boas' successor.

"I wouldn't have a problem if Van Gaal came in. After all, I've survived Felix Magath too," Holtby told Bild at the time.

Now the Germany international has a fourth club boss of the season and a familiar figure in Magath, who sent Holtby out on loan from Schalke on two occasions.

"I don't have any fear," Holtby told Sport Bild. "From my point of view, it's being hyped up right now.

"I have grown as a player and my time under Magath is already almost five years away.

"We are both in Fulham to reach one goal and that is staying up. Everything else is secondary."

Holtby admitted Magath's appointment was unexpected.

"At the weekend, I was in Denmark visiting my girlfriend's family," he added.

"I booked a flight for Sunday afternoon, but since the first training session under Felix Magath was scheduled on such short notice for Sunday morning, I had to return a day early.

"The news was of course a big surprise."

The future of Meulensteen remains shrouded in mystery.

The deposed head coach was not mentioned in the club statement announcing Magath's appointment and went on the radio minutes later to claim chief executive Alistair Mackintosh had told him that he had been ''released''.

However, Press Association Sport understands Meulensteen has not been sacked by Fulham, nor have assistant manager Ray Wilkins or first-team technical director Alan Curbishley.

The latter duo are believed to have met with Magath on Sunday evening and an update on their futures could be made later on Monday.

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