Former Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk says Hamburg are "very confused" after taking charge of the Bundesliga strugglers on a two-year contract.
The 61-year-old Dutchman, who led his country to the final of the 2010 World Cup, has succeeded Thorsten Fink.
"The team is very confused, it's not playing well and is letting in too many goals," said Van Marwijk.
"We have to leave the bottom of the table as quickly as possible."
Hamburg, who finished seventh last season, lie third bottom having taken just four points from their first six matches of the new campaign - Fink being fired following a 6-2 defeat by leaders Borussia Dortmund earlier this month.
Former Dortmund coach Van Marwijk has pledged to give his new side a fresh direction ahead of back-to-back away games at Eintracht Frankfurt and Nuremberg.
"My mission is to look at the structures in place and clarify the style of play," he added.
Van Marwijk has been out of work since following the country's elimination after three group defeats at Euro 2012.