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Keller calls for late Schalke surge

Schalke coach Jens Keller expects his side to face a desperate Freiburg outfit in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

A win for either team at Mage Solar Stadion would secure fourth spot and a spot in the Champions League qualifiers next season.

Keller, who signed a two-year deal with the club on Saturday, said Freiburg would be eager to finish fourth.

“Pressure must not play a major role for us. We are a team comprising several internationals. Players who want to play in a World Cup or in the Euros,” Keller said.

“There will always be pressure which is why the team will have to cope with that. We are very experienced for sure, still Freiburg have played a great season so far.

“But believe you me – they have got a lot to play for.

“Freiburg will not get the opportunity to play for the Champions League qualification too often, so they will have to cope with pressure the way we do.”

Schalke’s form has been patchy throughout the season, and they come into the clash after a 2-1 loss at home to Stuttgart.

Horst Heldt, Schalke’s director of sport, believes his side have shown in the past they are capable of winning important matches.

“I am indeed convinced we are able to manage getting a positive result because the team has shown me for months, or even years, that it is capable of winning key games,” he said.

“There were quite a few of those moments. In the Champions League we have won crucial games, we have even reached the semi-final.

“Plus last year we finished in third place after a difficult season.”

Meanwhile, Schalke defender Christoph Metzelder, 32, announced his decision to retire from the game on Thursday.

Thu 16 May, 2013
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