Director of sport Fredi Bobic has reminded the Stuttgart squad they are playing for places in the DFB-Pokal final when Greuther Furth visit the Mercedes-Benz Arena tomorrow.
Stuttgart have already qualified for the Europa League next season by virtue of reaching the cup final, in which they will play Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, and Bobic fears his team might start taking it easy for the final three games of the season.
A 3-0 defeat to Augsburg last weekend confirmed those fears, which is why he is attempting mind games to keep the Stuttgart players on their toes.
``These last three games are not just a little run out for us,'' he said. ``Rather, everybody is playing for his place in the team for the cup final.''
Furth should not be lacking motivation either, according to their coach Frank Kramer.
Although their relegation to the second division was sealed last weekend, he wants his players to enjoy their last three games in the top flight, and go down with dignity.
``These last three Bundesliga games should remain a positive memory,'' he said. ``People have said we were certainly relegated for a while, but we have always given everything all the same.''
Furthermore, Kramer wants to see which of his squad he can count on for an assault on promotion next season.
``I see this as a chance for a new beginning,'' he said.
Sercan Sararer will not get a chance to impress since he has been ruled out with torn muscle fibres while Heinrich Schmidtgal and Milorad Pekovic are also unavailable.
Tamas Hajnal is out for Stuttgart while top-scorer Vedad Ibisevic is suspended.