Slomka wants Hamburg to beat relegation

Hamburg coach Mirko Slomka wants his side to turn up the heat on their relegation rivals by beating fourth-placed Bayer Leverkusen on Friday night.

Mirko Slomka, head coach of Hannover

A win would lift the northern Germany side out of the bottom three and above both Stuttgart and Nurnberg, putting additional pressure on those two teams ahead of their games this weekend.

"We can set the pace on Friday," Slomka said at a press conference. "We want to win this game and we almost have to win it, which means we need to push ourselves to our limit."

Hamburg have picked up only eight points in the seven games since Slomka became their third coach this season.

Thorsten Fink and Bert van Marwijk have already fallen by the wayside, leaving Slomka to try and avert what would be the first ever relegation in the club's history.

"I could really say a lot, but what really matters is that we focus from the beginning," said midfielder Milan Badelj.

"We have had to come from behind often and that's tough. It would be nice if we could score the first goal on Friday."

Leverkusen's form is even worse with only five points from their last eight games, but at least they had already laid the foundations in their previous 20 matches with 43 points.

Nevertheless, a spot in next season's Champions League is in jeopardy with only one point now separating them from fifth-placed Wolfsburg. The stakes are therefore high in both camps.

"We are aware of the situation in Hamburg and it's perhaps worse than ours," said Leverkusen coach Sami Hyypia.

"I think it's going to be the team who has the greater will who will win this game, and I hope we make fewer mistakes, and then we'll have good chances to win."

Leverkusen travel north without the injured Omer Toprak while Stefan Reinartz is a doubt.

Pierre-Michel Lasogga misses out for the hosts and youth-team striker Mattia Maggio could fill in for him.

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