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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say
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By ESPN Staff

Doll backed despite Hamburg's struggles

BERLIN, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Hamburg SV coach Thomas Doll retains the support of the club even as the season goes from bad to worse.

'I don't believe there is a better trainer for us,' Hamburg's sporting director, Dietmar Beiersdorfer told reporters after Tuesday's 2-0 defeat away to VfB Stuttgart.

The latest chapter in a horror story of a season left Hamburg in 15th place in the Bundesliga with just nine points from 11 matches. They have won only one league match and were just two points ahead of bottom-placed Hanover 96 before Wednesday night's matches.

The 1983 European champions are the only club to have played every season in the Bundesliga since its formation in 1963. That proud record looks under threat.

Beset by injuries, Hamburg have also been eliminated from the German Cup and have suffered defeats in all four of their Champions League matches so far.

Beiersdorfer talked to Doll after the defeat but did not discuss the coach's position.

'All we talked about was the need to keep going and that we would eventually be rewarded,' he explained.

There were signs of recovery on Tuesday. Hamburg were clearly the better team for all but the last 10 minutes, when two goals from Stuttgart settled the match.

Doll said he was determined to carry on.