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Thrashed German champ needs 'understanding'

Lorenz-Gunther Kostner, coach of German Bundesliga defending champ Wolfsburg, pleaded for "a little bit of understanding'' after his team was routed thrashed 5-1 by rock-bottom Hertha Berlin. Last Thursday, Wolfsburg needed overtime to fend off Rubin Kazan in the Europa League and looked jaded on their return to domestic action. "Maybe we should have a little bit of understanding that my team now needs time to recover,'' he said. "Then we will be able to bounce back.'' Wolfsburg, which won last season's title with Coach Felix Magath, dropped to 10th place, while Magath's Schalke 04 in second place, a point behind Bayern Munich.

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