Hannover vs Hamburg Preview

Hannover need to put the disappointment of Europa League elimination behind them and turn their focus to qualifying for the competition again next season, starting against Hamburg.

Mirko Slomka, head coach of Hannover

A 1-1 draw at home to big-spending Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala last night saw the Lower Saxony side bow out of the competition 4-2 on aggregate and dent the club's spirits with a third of the season still remaining.

"A very exciting Europa League campaign is over," said coach Mirko Slomka. "You could see that we had high hopes.

"We wanted to attack them early and we did that. We created good chances and I think we would have deserved to win on the night.

"I think in view of both legs, we are not undeservedly out of the competition, but we gave it our all and you've got to pay tribute to the team."

Four points currently separate Hannover from a return to Europe again next season and their opponents Hamburg currently occupy that sought-after sixth position.

A win for the visitors would therefore give them a seven-point cushion over one of their main challengers for a place in Europe next season, but their coach Thorsten Fink is not getting ahead of himself.

"I know how quickly things can go in the opposite direction," he said. "But we are happy with the development of the team."

Fink was in attendance at the Niedersachsenstadion last night to get acquainted with tomorrow's opponents and he senses a degree of tiredness in the Reds.

"They seem to be suffering a little from the strain of two competitions," he said on his club's website.

His side will therefore look to capitalise on that and repeat the performance they showed in beating Borussia Dortmund 4-1 in their last away game.

"That is the only way we are going to be able to win in Hannover," Fink added.

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