Schalke general manager Horst Heldt has claimed former coach Huub Stevens agreed with the club’s decision to sack the Dutchman.
The Gelsenkirchen-based outfit enjoyed a record-breaking start to the Bundesliga season, but a disastrous run of six matches without a victory has seen them slip to seventh place on the table, and Stevens was dismissed after a 3-1 loss to Freiburg on Saturday.
“First of all, I’d like to thank Huub Stevens for the work he has done,” Heldt told reporters at a press conference.
“He has always given his all for the club and acted in the interests of Schalke. However, after the performance against Freiburg we no longer had the necessary confidence that he could turn things round.
“I informed Huub of our decision at a personal meeting early on Sunday morning. He backs the decision.”
Heldt introduced Stevens’ successor, Jens Keller, who previously trained the club’s Under-17 side.
“He was immediately prepared to take on the job,” Heldt said.
“I know Jens from my time at Stuttgart and am convinced he is an outstanding coach. He was a pro himself and has a wealth of experience.
“We hope he can deliver the impetus to get us back on track. We have every confidence in him.”
“Before Christmas we have another tremendously important game against Mainz in the DFB-Pokal. The onus is on the players now. I expect everyone to conduct themselves in a professional manner.”