Montpellier hire Frederic Hantz as new coach - 'I'm realising childhood dream'

Frederic Hantz took charge of training at struggling Montpellier for the first time on Thursday and said becoming the club's new head coach was a dream come true.

The former Bastia and Le Havre boss has been recruited to save the team from relegation to the second tier, as they currently sit 18th in Ligue 1.

His first match comes against Gazelec Ajaccio -- Corsican rivals of Bastia -- on Saturday.

Hantz said at his first news conference: "Football is a question of timing and meetings, and on Monday morning I would never have imagined I'd be here this morning.

"I'm proud to have been chosen. Montpellier is the club closest to my roots, I'm realising a childhood dream.

"We've got 16 matches left, it's important but the reality is that today Montpellier are going into Ligue 2 looking at the standings."

He added, according to Montpellier's official Twitter feed: "Until the end of May, every second, every minute will count, I know that.

"We won't have time for long speeches, we have to get to the point. I'm going to see everyone individually."

Hantz, 49, left Bastia at the end of the 2013-14 season. His new side are just one point away from Reims, the last team in a safe position.

Club president Louis Nicollin said: "Frederic Hantz was on a shortlist that we have been targeting for several weeks."

Rolland Courbis began the season as manager of Montpellier but resigned in December with the club in 15th place in the French top division.

Courbis replaced Philippe Montanier as Rennes coach last week after the Brittany side were knocked out of the Coupe de France.