Babbel issues rallying cry

Markus Babbel's job could be on the line on Wednesday night as the Hoffenheim coach takes his side to face fellow strugglers Nurnberg.

Football News: Markus Babbel

Defeat to Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday left Hoffenheim inside the Bundesliga relegation zone - a point behind Wednesday night's hosts.

Another defeat at the Frankenstadion would see Babbel run out of excuses for his side's worst start to a Bundesliga season in their history, and so he is calling on his players to show their true colours on Wednesday night.

"We have the chance, in a tough game against tough opponents and in a tough situation, to get three points," he said.

"The team has a great deal of potential and now the art is to turn this quality into points.

"They are not going to gift us anything. They are a strong, aggressive side and we have got to resist them."

Nurnberg coach Dieter Hecking also recognised that Hoffenheim are currently punching below their weight.

"Their current situation cannot be satisfactory for their ambitions," he told a pre-match press conference.

"They have players who have shown time and time again that they can play good football in the Bundesliga."

However, Hecking is relying on the strength and the potential of his own side, who will be without the suspended Markus Feulner, to lift them away from the danger zone.

"A win would be a good step in the right direction and would keep us within reach of the team above us," he said.

"It is down to us to keep things the way they are, otherwise we risk losing touch with the teams in front of us."

Babbel will once again select Koen Casteels in his goal with Tim Wiese injured, while Brazilian defender Chris is also sidelined.

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