Van Marwijk gunning for top-six spot
By Football News
Bert van Marwijk is targeting a top-six finish with Hamburg, after being unveiled as the new manager of the Bundesliga outfit.
The Dutchman was chosen to replace Thorsten Fink, who paid the price for the side's poor start to the season which has seen them slump into the bottom three after the opening six matches.
And Van Marwijk - who returns to football management for the first time since leaving his role as Netherlands boss after UEFA Euro 2012 - is confident of taking Hamburg into the upper echelons of the table.
"Our short-term aim is Saturday's game (away to Frankfurt)," he said.
"But if everything goes according to plan, then Hamburg can say a thing or two at the top. We're aiming for the top six."
Van Marwijk - who has managed in the Bundesliga before with Borussia Dortmund - claimed to have rebuffed several offers in the past year, and is excited to be returning to the German top flight, despite Hamburg's slow start to the campaign.
He added: "I have spoken to a lot of clubs last year. For me it is important that I need to have a positive feeling. That was the case here.
"Obviously I would prefer if Hamburg would be in the race for silverware but still there is a challenge for me, that's what I felt during the meeting.
"Everyone knows the big titles are those in England, Spain, Germany and maybe Italy. The past few years Germany has been raised to the top
"I'm not the kind to run away from pressure. I like pressure and I think this team needs pressure. When you are under pressure, you perform better."
The 61-year-old saw his new charges win their DFB-Pokal second-round clash with second-tier side Greuther Furth 1-0 on Tuesday, and Van Marwijk took plenty of positives from the performance.
"It was very important for the team and for me that they won," he continued. "I was pleased with the way they played, although that does not mean we will play in the same way.
"I am a fan of attacking football, but I also like well organised football. We have got to learn to defend as a team."