Hanover - Hannover 96 started the season with the clear intention of returning to Europe after narrowly missing out on a hat-trick of UEFA Europa League appearances last year.

In spite of a bright start, thanks to the fixture list giving them four home games in their first six, their struggles outside the Lower Saxony capital dragged them down the table and ultimately saw coach Mirko Slomka pay the price. bundesliga.com analyses the ups and downs of the Reds in 2013/14 so far.

Hannover 96 have blown hot and cold so far this season: while strong at home, they're toothless away. With eight defeats from eight on their travels, their slump to just four points above the relegation zone, and ten away from the top six, is due to their woeful away form. Indeed, the 96ers have been beaten only once in their own four walls and the task of their new coach, following Mirko Slomka's release, will be to find a remedy for this travel sickness.

has had a hand in ten of Hannover's 23 goals in the Bundesliga this season, scoring six. Since he joined the Reds from Zenit St Petersburg 18 months ago, the playmaker's array of assists have made him the main provider of goals, yet this season he has added another string to his bow by becoming Hannover's top goalscorer (in addition to top assist provider). The Hungarian is deadly from a set-piece, and essential to the Reds' game.

Statistics don't always paint the whole picture, but when it comes to Hannover's topsy-turvy season, the facts and figures are alarmingly clear: eight defeats from as many games on their travels is the result of just six goals scored and 20 conceded on foreign soil. At home, on the other hand, Hannover have chalked up a respectable 18 points, the fruit of five wins and three draws from nine outings. If home results alone were taken into consideration, Hannover would currently be sixth.

"My personal thanks go to Mirko Slomka. He saved Hannover 96 from relegation and led the side into the UEFA Europa League twice. These achievements will always be associated with his name." With these words, president Martin Kind bid Slomka farewell on 27 December as Hannover opted for a change in coach to turn around their fortunes in 2014.

came through the Germany youth ranks, joining Borussia Dortmund from FC Energie Cottbus in 2012 and moving to the Reds with a UEFA Champions League runners-up medal in his luggage. Just turned 20, he has already shown glimpses of his Brazilian roots with his incursions from his favoured wide role, showing what he has learnt from Marco Reus and Mario Götze at BVB. Now under the tutelage of Huszti, the German Under-21 international will surely get even better.