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Feb 12, 2014

Pep Guardiola wary of Hamburg

Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola fears Hamburg’s problems off the pitch could inspire their players to victory in Wednesday’s DFB-Pokal quarterfinal.

Schaaf: Opposite ends of the spectrum
Uersfeld: Clock ticking for Hamburg 

Hamburg, who sit 17th in the Bundesliga, have lost six consecutive league games and have not beaten Bayern in their last eight outings, recording two draws and six defeats.

There has also been much turmoil in the Die Rothosen, with coach Bert van Marwijk facing intense speculation about his future.

However, by the time referee Felix Zwayer gets Wednesday’s game underway, Guardiola feels all of Hamburg’s problems will have been forgotten about.

“We will start at zero,” Guardiola told a news conference. “We cannot win a title in Hamburg, but we can only lose one title. The situation in Hamburg makes them even more dangerous. They might have less confidence after the last defeats, but the quality is there."

Up until the early hours of Wednesday, it was still unclear whether Van Marwijk would be in charge of Hamburg for the Bayern clash.

The club’s directors have been looking for a majority vote to sack Van Marwijk and the current board, and install Felix Magath as caretaker boss until the end of the season, before giving him a leading role upstairs.

Guardiola, however, has backed the Hamburg boss, saying: “Bert van Marwijk is s a very good coach with a lot of experience. He coached the Netherlands to the 2010 World Cup final.”

On Tuesday, a letter from Hamburg’s billionaire investor Klaus-Michael Kuehne -- who played a prominent role in the return of Rafael van der Vaart in 2012 -- to Magath was made public by Abendblatt.

“Dear Mr Magath, make an effort! Join Hamburg as sporting director and coach -- and everything will be fine,” Kuehne wrote, begging Magath to join the club before the relegation battle at Eintracht Braunschweig this weekend. “Otherwise we’ll lose another three points and the situation will become even more desperate.

“I am behind you 100 percent, and I just hope that the directors and the board finally act united -- otherwise those folks are the managers of the collective downfall.”

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Bild reported that Hamburg sporting director and member of the board, Oliver Kreuzer, was stopped by police for a broken windscreen wiper.

Kreuzer also had to undergo a breathalyser test, and police determined an alcohol level of 0.09 percent, Bild claimed. Kreuzer, who earlier on Sunday had to report to the Hamburg directors and was nearly sacked, had to continue his journey by foot.

While a police spokesperson soon confirmed parts of the report to SID, they said that the alcohol level was less than 0.05 percent -- the limit for being allowed to drive in Germany -- while other reports claimed that it was above that.

“I drank three glasses of wine,” Kreuzer told Morgenpost.

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