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Mainz fires coach Beierlorzer after losses, player unrest

MAINZ, Germany (AP) — Bundesliga club Mainz fired its coach Achim Beierlorzer on Monday after the team lost its first two Bundesliga games and players boycotted a training session. Mainz said assistant coach Jan-Moritz Lichte will take charge of the team “until further notice” and the club will continue an investigation of the team's troubled start to the season.

Mainz players refused to take part in a training session on Wednesday in a dispute over the status of striker Adam Szalai. The club said the 32-year-old Hungarian forward wouldn't get playing time this season and he was sent to train with the under-23 team.

That came amid tension over a pay cut amid the coronavirus pandemic. Mainz players gave up part of their salaries last season. Chairman Stefan Hofmann said Friday the club had discussed repaying the money later on during talks in March, but players had been told that will not now happen because the club's financial situation has worsened.

Beierlorzer took over as coach in November and guided Mainz away from the relegation battle last season to a 13th-place finish. The team lost 3-1 to Leipzig in its opening Bundesliga game of 2020-21 and followed up with a 4-1 home defeat to promoted Stuttgart on Saturday.

Beierlorzer is the second Bundesliga coach fired this season after Schalke dismissed David Wagner on Sunday after an 18-game winless run.

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