With the new German league campaign set to start on Friday, Werder Bremen's director of sport Klaus Allofs has admitted his side face another tough season after their shock German Cup defeat at the weekend.
Despite taking the lead, Bremen were humbled 2-1 at third division FC Heidenheim on Saturday in the first round of the competition.
Bremen spent most of last season battling relegation and Allofs said he expects another tough 12 months ahead.
The Bundesliga season begins on Friday night when Borussia Dortmund host Hamburg, while Bremen are home to Kaiserslautern on Saturday.
"We know we face another difficult season," Allofs said in an interview with German website Sport1.
"The Bundesliga is cruel.
"There are only two possibilities: either you are playing for a place in Europe or battling against relegation.
"We weren't on the safe side last season, everyone saw that."
Having won the 2009 German Cup title, Saturday's first-round exit has cut off a source of income and Allofs says he expects no great improvements from the transfer market.
"The philosophy has always been at Werder that we only want to spend the money that we make," he said.
"We have worked over the years with a team playing in the Champions League team, but maybe now we need to be a bit more modest."