Nurnberg must be fearless against Stuttgart

Nurnberg coach Gertjan Verbeek says his side must not be afraid when they host Stuttgart in a relegation battle on Wednesday.

The equalizer....

A 5-2 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt at the weekend was a major setback to the Bavarians, sending them into the bottom two.

However, they remain just a point behind their guests, and are keen to climb out of the danger zone this week.

"We don't have much time to recover," Verbeek said. "We need a team who believes they can get three points.

"The players have got to ask themselves whether they want to live in fear, or in love - for the club and for the game.

"Freiburg, Stuttgart - they all have pressure on them and they are all in a relegation battle, but fear does not get you anything."

Nurnberg's goalkeeper Raphael Schafer has warned his team-mates to react before it is too late.

"We're all a little bit confused about why we are heading down the table, but when you lose 5-2 at home, then there's no getting away from the fact that it's a steep slope down," he said.

"We're lacking courage, to defend far up the field and get at our opponents early on.

"We're making mistakes moving backwards which are just not on. We've got to put the brakes on it all quickly."

That is precisely what Stuttgart did at the weekend with their first win of the calendar year halting their slide down the table.

They know that slide will continue if they don't build on Saturday's 1-0 win over Hamburg, although Ibrahima Traore says there could be no better opponents than Nurnberg right now.

"I think it's good that we're up against another rival for the drop," he said on his club's official website.

"We've got to keep our focus. I expect another real battle there for the entire 90 minutes, and I expect us to take the points."

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