Nürnberg's Hiroshi Kiyotake is demanding more focus against Hamburger SV on Matchday 8
Nürnberg's Hiroshi Kiyotake is demanding more focus against Hamburger SV on Matchday 8

Nürnberg's Kiyotake targets improvement against Hamburg

Nuremberg - 1. FC Nürnberg will hope to make it a case of eighth time lucky against Hamburger SV on Sunday (kick-off 15:30 CET).

'We have to be consistent'

Hiroshi Kiyotake and Co. are still to sample that winning feeling in the Bundesliga this term and failure to do so again could even lead to a place in the bottom three.

"The draw against Bremen isn’t enough," lamented Kiyotake after his side were forced to come from behind for the fourth time in seven outings on Matchday 7 and rescue only their fifth point of the campaign. "We have to be consistent with our performances and concentrate right from the start."

Nürnberg's lethargic predilection now puts them in the unfavourable position of being one of only three sides in the Bundesliga without a win this term, with only bottom club Eintracht Braunschweig and 17th-placed SC Freiburg having either no or fewer points to show for their winless endeavours this season.

'We will stay in the Bundesliga'

"We have been very close to victory in recent games," recalled Nürnberg goalkeeper Raphael Schäfer. "We played bravely against Dortmund and could have won that game if we had had a little more luck in front of goal. In our 3-3 draw against Bremen we were closer to a winning goal than they were [...] If we can play to our full potential, I am sure we will stay in the Bundesliga."

Similarly fighting to keep their heads above water are Sunday's visitors Hamburger SV. The 16th-placed Red Shorts have shipped more goals (19) than any of their top-flight contemporaries in 2013-14, but will have taken plenty of positives from a welcome point in new head coach Bert van Marwijk's first game in charge against Eintracht Frankfurt last weekend.

'Tactical discipline'

"We fought hard and we also have a new coach and system," explained HSV captain Rafael van der Vaart. "When you score late in the game you have to be happy. We kept our shape much better than we have in recent away games and we can build on that. I'm happy that Bert is here and that we have a good and experienced coach."

Hamburg warmed up for Sunday's assignment with a midweek friendly win over Karslruher SC, van Marwijk has been left in no doubt that, with the right system, the results will soon follow in the league. "You have to have the courage to choose a particular way of playing and see it through regardless of the opposition," affirmed the Dutchman. "Of course we need to pick up points. It's about tactical discipline. Once we've got that, we can move forward."

Possible line-ups:

FC Nürnberg: R. Schäfer - Chandler, Nilsson, Pogatetz, Plattenhardt - Stark - Hasebe, Kiyotake, Hlousek - Drmic, Pekhart

Hamburger SV: Adler - Westermann, Tah, Djourou, Jansen - Badelj, Arslan - Beister, van der Vaart, Calhanoglu - Lasogga

Christopher Mayer-Lodge

Hiroshi Kiyotake scored a cracker against Bremen last weekend. Check it out on the Bundesliga's official YouTube channel: