Hamburg players told to 'scratch and bite' like Real Madrid

Reuters, Thursday 2 May 2013

Coach Thorsten Fink sees Real Madrid determination in Champions League as model his Hamburg players should follow

Hamburg head coach Thorsten Fink comforts Marcell Jansen after the German first division Bundesliga soccer match between FC Schalke 04 and Hamburg SV in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Sunday, April 28, 2013. (Photo: AP)

Hamburg SV players have been told by coach Thorsten Fink to "scratch and bite like Real Madrid" as they attempt to clinch a place in next season's Europa League.

Fink said Real Madrid's commitment in the Champions League semi-final second leg against Borussia Dortmund, when they nearly overturned a 4-1 first-leg deficit, should serve as an example to his players.

"Real bit and scratched against Dortmund, they wanted to win at any cost," Fink told the SID news agency. "I demand full commitment. Even if that is not enough for us to win the match, at least we can leave the stadium with our heads held high."

Fink was furious with his team after they lost three matches in a row this month, including a 9-2 mauling at champions Bayern Munich, and warned that players who did not pull their weight would leave the club.

Eighth-placed Hamburg rebounded to beat Mainz 05 and Fortuna Duesseldorf, but crashed 4-1 at Schalke 04 on Sunday. Their next match is at home to VfL Wolfsburg on Sunday.

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