That form cost coach Markus Babbel his job earlier this week with Kramer, previously in charge of the club's reserve team, installed until further notice.
His reign begins at Hamburg and Kramer is in a positive frame of mind.
"The team is looking very alert," said the new coach.
"There is a bit of tension there, but that is normal given the difficult sporting situation."
Hoffenheim need points in their bid to climb out of the relegation zone and head north knowing a draw would not necessarily be a good result.
"I always want to win," said Kramer. "And the lads are certainly ready and willing.
"If we do a lot right, then we could play for the three points there."
Hamburg also want three points but for a different reason, with a win enough to take them into the top five for the first time all season.
"I know that Hoffenheim will be desperate for the points, but we are prepared for them and have beaten enough good teams at home this season, and now we want our third home win in a row," said their coach Thorsten Fink.
Fink is still without the injured Rafael van der Vaart but Heung-Min Son is available again and should start, while Tolgay Arslan is also an option again after suspension.
Kramer is assessing his options with Sebastian Rudy back after suspension.