Wolfsburg decides to stick with McClaren

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BERLIN (Reuters) -- VfL Wolfsburg are sticking with coach Steve McClaren despite their shock German Cup loss to second division Energie Cottbus on Wednesday but said they would make changes to their squad.

Club officials met McClaren on Thursday to discuss the team's poor run and it was decided to keep faith with the former England manager.

"We will clean up," said team manager Dieter Hoeness in a statement. "With this team and its makeup there can be no long-lasting success."

McClaren became the first English coach at the helm of a Bundesliga club after joining the 2009 German champions this year.

But he has failed to impress despite the club keeping striker Edin Dzeko and signing Brazilian Diego from Juventus Turin.

They have not won any of their last seven league matches and with just 19 points from 17 games languish in 13th place, some 10 points behind the European qualification spots at the start of the four-week winter break.

Hoeness said McClaren would be given a new fitness coach, adding that players Karim Ziani and Caiuby would be dropped to the reserves.

"We said eight weeks ago that the attitude should change. It was about passion, willingness to run and one-on-ones. We did not see a response so that is why we must act.

"We expect from the coaches (when the team meets on Jan. 2) to punish severely any wrong behaviour on or off the pitch," Hoeness said.

He said fans should expect major squad changes next year. "Now in the winter it is difficult but we will do our best. The road down which we will go may be painful for some of them," said Hoeness.

McClaren joined Wolfsburg after steering Dutch side Twente Enschede to their maiden Dutch title. He took over in 2008, seven months after his spell in charge of England ended in humiliation with England failing to qualify for Euro 2008.