Hans-Joachim Watzke distanced himself from suggestions that Julian Nagelsmann could be Borussia Dortmund's next head coach and said he remained undecided over who would take the role in 2018-19.
Dortmund entertain Hoffenheim on Saturday hoping to leapfrog them in the Bundesliga table and managing director Watzke told reporters of his admiration for visiting coach Nagelsmann, who only turned 30 in July and signed a deal at Hoffenheim until 2021.
Peter Stoger was appointed Dortmund head coach until the end of the 2017-18 season in the wake of Peter Bosz's dismissal, but Nagelsmann's revitalising impact at Hoffenheim have made him a future candidate in the eyes of the media.
"He is a young and very good coach," said Watzke. "But nobody links me to Julian Nagelsmann - except the media.
"There is no decision yet for the upcoming season."
The 2-0 victory over Mainz in Stoger's first game in charge was Dortmund's first competitive win in 10 attempts, and Watzke admitted the season so far has been "a mystery".
He urged the players to take responsibility to turn the club's fortunes around, saying: "The team know that they are responsible for the crisis and I told the players things at the presentation of Peter Stoger.
"It was always fragile while we were winning, and now I get the impression that everyone has realised that this is not going to continue.
"You have to work constructively and together, and we will."
"This season is a mystery so far," he added. "But let's not pretend it's the biggest mistake."
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