BERLIN (AFP) - Julian Nagelsmann, 28, became the youngest ever coach in Germany’s top flight on Saturday as his Hoffenheim side drew 1-1 at Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga’s basement battle.
Nagelsmann saw his side pick up a point on his debut as Andrej Kramaric’s early strike was cancelled out by ex-Chelsea defender Papy Djilobodji’s first goal for Bremen.
Hoffenheim were reduced to ten men when Kramaric was sent off for a second booking 13 minutes from time.
Despite the draw, Hoffenheim remain six points from safety, and second from bottom, as they look to avoid relegation after eight years in Germany’s top flight.
“At the end of the day, it was a point won for us, Bremen had the better chances overall and it was hard to get a grip on the game after the sending off,” said Nagelsmann.
After his predecessor Huub Stevens stood down on Wednesday with heart problems, Nagelsmann was handed a contract until June 2019 and tasked with keeping Hoffenheim up.
Nagelsmann was due to take charge for the 2016-17 season, but circumstance led to his promotion having coached Hoffenheim’s successful Under-19 team.
Aged just 20, he had been forced to give up his playing career, as a defender for Augsburg and 1860 Munich, due to a knee injury.
After coaching the youth teams at both those clubs, he joined Hoffenheim in 2010 and worked his way up the ranks to be handed the head coach role.
Having only taken his first training session with the senior squad on Thursday, Nagelsmann said he had little time to be nervous.
“The fact that it was known relatively early on that I would take over in the summer meant the initial hype had already died down,” said Nagelsmann.
“There wasn’t much time in between (my first training session and match), so I didn’t get too caught up in it, just like I want to do in the future.
“Clearly there is a great deal of public interest, which is something you have to get used to in the Bundesliga.
“I’m doing the best that I can to handle it.”