Berlin - Hamburg SV coach Bruno Labbadia has warned his team not to get carried away by the two straight wins that have lifted them out of the relegation zone and has urged them to finish the job against rivals Freiburg on Friday.
Hamburg, the only team to spend every season in the Bundesliga since the top flight league's creation in 1963, spent most of the campaign at the wrong end of the table.
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Labbadia's arrival earlier this month signalled a change in fortunes for the former European champions, who have won two of their three matches under the new coach.
"We are back in the race with two victories but we are still under pressure. We have to do it again now against an opponent who must be respected," he told reporters on Wednesday. "So it will be intense.
"Obviously, the atmosphere can be extremely important in carrying us but at the end of the day we have to perform on the pitch."
Hamburg, who spent more than 25 million euros ($28.07 million) on players in the close season, are 14th on 31 points, only one point above both the relegation playoff spot that Freiburg occupy and 17th placed Hanover 96 in the drop zone.
"Cup or battle for Europe, all this is nothing compared to the pressure to avoid relegation. The mental part is the toughest," said Labbadia, who is in his second spell with Hamburg.
The northern club also play bottom side VfB Stuttgart before finishing the season at home to Schalke 04.
($1 = 0.8908 euros)