18 September 2014 18:13
Joe Zinnbauer has warned Hamburg’s first-team stars that another poor performance against Bayern Munich this weekend could see them dropped.
The 44-year-old took control of the Bundesliga strugglers earlier in the week after Mirko Slomka was relieved of his duties with the club bottom after securing only one point from their opening three league matches.
There was renewed hope around the Imtech Arena after surviving via the relegation play-off last season as the likes of Pierre-Michel Lasogga, Valon Behrami, Johan Djourou and Lewis Holtby arrived.
However, there has not been a change in fortunes yet and Zinnbauer was called on to step up and replace Slomka after Hamburg’s worst start to a Bundesliga season.
Zinnbauer’s first task is working out how to stop champions Bayern and, although he insists the result against Pep Guardiola’s side is “irrelevant”, he has warned his players that they must produce a good performance or face being replaced.
“My philosophy on the pitch is to be dominant,” he said. “I enjoy being in charge.
“If things are not working in the first team I will call up players from the reserves and will take no prisoners.
“We have players in the reserves good enough to play a game at Bundesliga level.
“The problems lie in the mind. It’s about the quality of the team as a whole and not the quality of individuals.
“We have several hundred top-flight games under our belts, which is why we have to introduce emotion to the equation.”
Hamburg’s forwards will be under pressure, given they have yet to find the back of the net in the league this season, but a match against the frugal Bayern defence may see another frustrating afternoon.
Bayern have started the Bundesliga campaign well with two wins and a draw from the opening three matches and sit second behind early leaders Bayer Leverkusen on goal difference.
Guardiola’s men scored a glut of goals – 12 to be precise – in the three meetings against Hamburg last season in all competitions, while only conceding twice.
And confidence in the Bayern camp will be high heading into this weekend after Bayern made a successful start to their UEFA Champions League campaign on Wednesday with a 1-0 home win over Manchester City.
That game saw Mehdi Benatia make his debut following his move from Roma and he is expected to continue alongside Jerome Boateng at the heart of the defence.
One player who is not guaranteed to be involved, though, is enigmatic winger Franck Ribery after he missed the midweek win through injury.
The France international made a scoring return in the league last weekend, but he remains a doubt for this trip due to requiring further treatment on a knee problem.