Mario Gomez has told his Wolfsburg team-mates they cannot let the club slip into Bundesliga 2 as they prepare for their relegation/promotion play-off with neighbours Eintract Braunschweig.

Some 30 kilometres separate the pair, who will meet in Wolfsburg on Thursday and at the Eintracht Stadion next Monday, but Gomez and his team-mates were on Monday headed further afield to the Dutch town of De Lutte on the Dutch-German border to fine-tune their preparations for the tie.

Wolfsburg looked to have secured their top-flight status only for Luca Waldschmidt to produce a late goal for hosts Hamburg on Saturday, and condemn Andries Jonkers' side to a fate which Gomez says they only have themselves to blame for.

Read: Hamburg condemn Wolfsburg to play-off.

"When we took things in hand more in the second half, we should have scored three or four goals. As a team we didn't do that," said the Germany international, who had seen team-mate Robin Knoche put their side ahead before HSV replied to secure a 2-1 win. "Now we have got what we deserved, and must go into the play-off."

Braunschweig warmed up for the play-off with a 2-1 win over Karlsruher SC at the weekend. © imago

Braunschweig, who signed off their Bundesliga 2 campaign with a 2-1 win over Karlsruhe, will have good memories of their last Bundesliga encounters with Wolfsburg.

In the 2013/14 campaign, they picked up their first win of the season with a 2-0 triumph at the Volkswagen Arena before drawing the return fixture 1-1.

Braunschweig were relegated after finishing bottom of the table that season, but an identical pair of scorelines would take them back into the top flight and end Wolfsburg's 20-year stay among the elite.

"I'm a little bit speechless because football is brutal. But we're not relegated yet. We still have two matches against a second division side. We have to do it," said Gomez. "We won't be relegated to Bundesliga 2.

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