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Keller defiant as Schalke struggle

Schalke head coach Jens Keller has dismissed media speculation that he might lose his job despite his team having won just once in 2013.

Schalke head coach Jens Keller has dismissed media speculation that he might lose his job despite his team having won just once in 2013.

Keller took over following Schalke’s final Bundesliga fixture before the winter break after Huub Stevens was sacked, but the team’s fortunes have not improved under the 42-year-old, with just four points being earned from as many games so far in 2013.

Schalke have slumped to 10th on the Bundesliga table, their lowest position of the season, but while media speculation is rife that Keller might lose his job, the former Stuttgart and Wolfsburg defender has claimed he is not worried.

“From the first game in the cup (which Schalke lost to Mainz) the media have wrote about this (that there is pressure on Keller),” Keller said.

“It is like that here, so I have to deal with it.

“We worked very hard this week.

“We analysed the last few games and are focused on the next match.”

Schalke go to Mainz on Saturday and, whatever the outcome of the match, sporting director Horst Heldt has backed Keller to continue for the rest of their Bundesliga campaign and believes the coach just needs a bit of luck to turn the club’s season around.

“A dominant victory would help the team,” Heldt said.

“Sometimes you get back on track after that and you can’t really explain why.

“I experienced this as a player.

“You think a lot about what is going wrong and what can you change but you should not start to doubt things and think that you are wrong.

“You should trust in yourself and trust in your skills.”

Bayern Munich thrashed Schalke 4-0 last week, handing the Gelsenkirchen club a second successive defeat, but Keller believes his players remain positive ahead of their trip to Mainz.

“They saw where their mistakes were, we used video to analyse the match against Bayern Munich,” Keller said.

“They took this analysis on board.

“We trained hard, it was positive out on the training pitch, so the atmosphere within the team is good.”

Thu 14 February, 2013
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