The alarm bells are ringing louder than ever in Hamburg after a 3-1 defeat at home to Wolfsburg that further compromises their flawless Bundesliga survival record.
Hamburg are the only club never to have dropped out of Germany's top flight since its inception 51 years ago.
With three games of the season remaining, they find themselves inside the bottom three, but it was the level of their performance against the Wolves which raises even more concerns.
“It's incredible -- incredible,” defender Heiko Westermann said. “If you make as many mistakes as we did, then of course Wolfsburg will punish you. We just invited them and that makes it even more frustrating. I just can't understand it.
“This defeat really hurts. Our destiny is no longer in our own hands.”
If fellow strugglers Nuernberg and Stuttgart both win their games in hand on Sunday, Hamburg's plight will further worsen, although no final outcome in the relegation battle is likely until the final game of the season.
“I always say 'never give up',” Hakan Calhanoglu told Sky. “We wanted to get at them right from the off, but it's always hard when you find yourself a goal down already after two minutes.”
Hamburg, whose coach Mirko Slomka has lost every single away game this season, both for his current club and previously for Hannover, have trips to Augsburg and Mainz remaining with a home game against champions Bayern Munich sandwiched in between.