Slomka's extra training to keep Hamburg up
New coach Mirko Slomka has nearly doubled the weekly quota of training sessions for relegation-threatened Hamburg in a bid to prevent their first relegation from Germany's top-flight.
The 46-year-old signed a two-year deal on Monday, but has just 13 games left to get 17th-placed Hamburg out of the relegation places with Champions League side Borussia Dortmund their next opponents at home on Saturday.
"It's good that we have Dortmund up next, it's a fantastic chance to show there is still life in the team," said Slomka, who took his first training session on Monday in front of 17 television cameras.
Hamburg will be without captain Rafael van der Vaart for the next few weeks with an ankle injury.
Slomka's predecessor, ex-Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk, was sacked on Saturday after a seventh straight league as Hamburg were drubbed 4-2 at the Bundesliga's bottom side Eintracht Braunschweig.
Sacked by Hanover 96 in December, Slomka has raised Hamburg's training sessions from four to seven per week and has said that, unlike Van Marwijk, he will be living in Hamburg with his family based in Hanover.
"Hamburg is the city in which I really want to live," added Slomka. "I'll rarely be going home."
A clock at Hamburg's Imtech Arena shows the club has been in the Bundesliga since it was founded more than 50 years ago and Slomka, as Van Marwijk did before him, said they should be much higher up the table.
"Hamburg should be amongst the top five clubs in Germany," he said.
"This is an exciting challenge, but first of all we need to make up the two places to get out of the relegation places."
With his side on a club record run of defeats, Slomka has said it is his job now to coax performances out of the Hamburg squad.
"These players have been recruited especially for this club, they have their strengths and we want to tease it out of them," he said.