KOBIASKVILI CALLS FOR FAN SUPPORT
Hertha Berlin captain Levan Kobiashvili has appealed to his club's fans to turn out en masse and get behind the team at the Olympiastadion on Saturday.
Only a win can give Berlin any hope at all of avoiding automatic relegation to the second division and Kobiashvili has called on their '12th man' to make a difference against Hoffenheim, apologising at the same time for being in such a situation.
"The Hoffenheim game is our most important of the whole season," he wrote in a letter published on behalf of the whole team on the club's website.
"We know that we have played absolutely terribly this season and that we have often disappointed you greatly, but you have still always stood by us.
"That is fantastic and we take off our hats to you, but no matter what has happened, all that matters now is today.
"All that is important is that we manage together to stay in the Bundesliga."
Berlin's destiny is dependent on Cologne failing to beat Bayern Munich, but Kobiashvili has not lost belief and he hopes the fans have not either.
"We are asking every single one of you, even those who believe that we no longer deserve it, to help us for 90 more minutes," he added.
"Be there for us for 90 minutes. We promise that we will fight and give everything."
Berlin would not be in such a position had they not sacked Markus Babbel in December, says the man who is now in charge of Saturday's opponents.
Babbel still has not forgiven the club for an acrimonious departure during which he accused the club's general manager Michael Preetz of lying.
"Any side who picks up just eight points in the second half of a season deserves to be relegated," he said.
However, Babbel, who had the Hertha emblem tattooed on his upper arm after leading them to promotion last season, says he would still be sad to see the back of them.
"I had two and a half successful years there," he added.
"Hertha are a great club."
Latest Football News at 17:00 BST