The Red Shorts have now been leapfrogged in the table by their opponents and slip to second-bottom, meaning that even a win against FC Schalke 04 on the final day of the season may not be enough to save them.
For goalkeeper Rene Adler, it was a gut-wrenching defeat, but the former Germany international, in an exclusive interview with bundesliga.com, says he hasn’t given up hope that Hamburg’s unique run as the Bundesliga’s only ever-present club will not endure.
bundesliga.com: Rene Adler, how disappointed are you with that result?
Rene Adler: We’re obviously massively disappointed, but you’d have to say that Stuttgart were the better team in every department.
bundesliga.com: Despite HSV opening the scoring…?
Adler: After the goal we just didn’t do enough. We didn’t compete properly in the tackles and didn’t close down the spaces. We’ll work on that with the coach and hopefully we can do better against Schalke.
bundesliga.com: The last game of the season is all or nothing now…
Adler: It’s out of our hands now and that’s an awful feeling. We just have to do our job against Schalke and hope the other results go our way.
'We will beat Schalke'
bundesliga.com: What was the tactical approach for this game in Stuttgart?
Adler: We had a clear plan that we wanted to follow, but we strayed from it and in the end we weren’t adaptable enough.
bundesliga.com: Was it also a question of attitude?
Adler: You can’t accuse any player of not wanting [to get a positive result]. The pressure is obviously high but I speak for the rest of the players when I say that we’re putting our heart and soul into what we’re doing.
bundesliga.com: Are you surprised by FC Bayern’s defeat at SC Freiburg?
Adler: Bayern have been struggling in the last few weeks, but it's obviously a really frustrating result for us. We’ve had enough time to get the points we need, though, and we haven’t been able to do it. The teams that are down at the bottom right now deserve to be there.
bundesliga.com: Hamburg are now potentially just a game away from being relegated…
Adler: We know how the table looks as well. We’re in a precarious position but we can still do it. There’s no point in saying everything’s lost right now, though, because I believe we’ll win against Schalke.
Interview by Jens Fischer