Things are ``not going the way we had hoped'' for Hannover as they prepare to host Wolfsburg tomorrow, according to their general manager Jorg Schmadtke.
A 5-4 defeat to Schalke last weekend has left the Reds with work to do if they are to qualify for the Europa League for the third year running and Schmadtke admits things are not precisely going according to plan.
``We are stagnating,'' he said. ``Things are not going the way we had hoped; not so continuous.
``But maybe this was to be expected, all things considered.''
That defeat saw Hannover drop to their lowest position of the season, four points adrift of the top six and only a point above their local rivals Wolfsburg, who spent much of the first half of the season inside the bottom three.
For a club who are steadily getting used to playing in Europe, missing out would be a disappointment, but not a tragedy.
``If we don't qualify for Europe, we would not be in any financial difficulty,'' said Schmadtke to Kicker magazine.
``We are not putting anybody under pressure but are rather following our long-term goals in peace and quiet.''
Those long-term goals include coach Mirko Slomka, who signed a new contract over the winter break and last weekend broke the record as the club's longest-serving coach.
The man who previously held that record is Dieter Hecking, now in charge of opponents Wolfsburg.
He insists tomorrow's game will not be a special occasion for him, unless it ends in victory for his current side.
``We know that we could move above Hannover in the table with a win,'' he said.
``I know that this game is being seen publicly as a particularly special one for me given my time in Hannover, but it is no longer (special) for me.
``Of course it is nice to be welcomed with open arms, but after losing here four times with Nurnberg, it is high time things got back on track.
``It's not all about me anyway, but far more about the team.''
And that team is likely to be unchanged from the one which started 2013 with victory over Stuttgart, even if Naldo and Bas Dost are alternatives.