Coach Gisdol hopes support can lead Hamburg to safety

Markus Gisdol is banking on home support to save Hamburg.Markus Gisdol is banking on home support to save Hamburg.

Hamburg coach Markus Gisdol hopes playing on home soil will give his team enough incentive in their decisive Bundesliga clash with Wolfsburg at the Volksparkstadion.

Top-flight safety is at stake for both teams on the final day of the season as they look to avoid a bottom-three finish and a place in the relegation play-offs.

Wolfsburg currently hold the advantage, sitting one place and two points above their 16th-placed opponents, who must win to avoid a meeting with the team finishing third in the 2.Bundesliga.

Yet Gisdol, whose side have never been relegated from the Bundesliga, knows they will have the majority of the crowd behind them – and it is up to his team to rouse the supporters.

“I don’t want to talk about our opponents because it’s a unique situation. I will only say that we’re prepared, very focused and clear about this game,” he said.

“I expect a great atmosphere but that’s up to us. It’s our job to spark the fire and to create a home game atmosphere with a good performance. Our fans have always been there for us and that will be the case again on Saturday.

“We’ve been given a great opportunity playing our last game at home. We know what we can do at home and how much of a force we can be. We’ll throw everything into this.

“For the first time this season we have a match in which only a win will do because we can’t go downwards. We’ve been given this opportunity from a hopeless situation and with the right measure of humility and gratitude we want to take advantage of this opportunity.”

The possibility of dropping into the relegation play-offs has not even crossed the mind of Wolfsburg coach Andries Jonker, who is in no doubt his players can keep Hamburg at bay on Saturday.

He told the club’s website: “The match is equally important for both teams. Neither side is under more or less pressure in the current situation.

“We need to have the courage to play football. Everyone knows we’re capable of playing good football - the psychological element will be most important.

“The cohesion between the players, coaches, employees and fans makes me confident. We want to do this together as a unit, we’ve always stuck together.

“On Saturday we’ll have the backing of 6,000 fans. To add to that, we know we have the necessary individual quality. I’m completely convinced we will do it.”

Winger Nicolai Muller is expected to be fit for Hamburg but forward Pierre-Michel Lasogga misses out on the season finale with an adductor strain.

Wolfsburg will travel to the Volksparkstadion without Paul Seguin due to a calf injury.


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