Van Marwijk: All or nothing at Hamburg
Newly appointed Hamburg coach Bert van Marwijk has urged everyone to have realistic expectations of him during his first press conference at the troubled club.
• Hesse: Fink's demise
Van Marwijk was appointed late on Monday night -- a week after Thorsten Fink was sacked. The former Netherlands and Borussia Dortmund coach has signed a two-year deal, which includes an option for another season.
Hamburg's 11th coach in just nine years is facing a difficult task at the Imtech Arena. Six games into the 2013-14 season, Hamburg are ranked 16th in the table and have conceded 17 goals -- more than any other Bundesliga club.
"There is no need to tell me that Hamburg is a great city,” Van Marwijk told the press on Wednesday morning. "I am aware of the situation and it is not pretty. It will not be easy.”
On Tuesday, under caretaker coach Rodolfo Cardoso, Hamburg qualified for the last 16 of the DFB-Pokal via a 1-0 win over Greuther Furth, who currently top the Bundesliga II table.
"It was important for the club and also for me that we won the match,” Van Marwijk said.
The new boss arrived in Hamburg on Tuesday, but preferred to follow the fortunes of his new club on television instead of making the trip to the stadium, a low-key move in keeping with his initially modest aims.
"The short-term goal is Saturday [when Hamburg play at Eintracht Frankfurt],” he said. "We can’t say we want to finish fourth, we need to get out of here first.”
In the long run the former Netherlands coach, who led the Dutch to the 2010 World Cup final, believes Hamburg is a club to "play for the top six" but, given the current situation, he admitted that fans "need to remain realistic”.
On opting for Hamburg, the former Borussia Dortmund coach said that he turned down many offers during his year-long break after quitting his international role.
"The feeling had to be right,” he said. "That was the case here. It is a challenge. All or nothing.
"The German league attracted me. Over the past few years it has become the number one league in Europe. Pep Guardiola’s decision [to join Bayern Munich] also proves it.”