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Keller vows to attack

Schalke coach Jens Keller has ruled out sitting back and defending in his team’s UEFA Champions League second leg versus Galatasaray.

Keller’s team head into the round-of-16 second leg at home on the back of three consecutive victories in the Bundesliga, which has seen Schalke move up to fourth on the table.

But Keller has warned his team they cannot afford to underestimate Galatasaray, who they drew 1-1 with in the first leg, and believes the best way for Schalke keep the Turkish club quiet is to control the ball in their own attacking half.

“We should never play with complacency, or sit back and defend; the attacking quality of Galatasaray is far too great,” Keller said.

“They are always able to score a goal, so we’ll try to keep them far away from our box.”

Schalke have hit the back of the net eight times in their past three matches with 19-year-old midfielder Julian Draxler notching three of those goals.

That included the opening goal in Schalke’s 2-1 win over arch-rivals Borussia Dortmund on Saturday and Keller has praised Draxler’s improvement.

“At first, I put him in the number 10 position,” Keller said.

“We also had other options for that position so he couldn’t relax, he needed a little bit of time, because for almost two years, he hasn’t been playing in that position.

“But I was sure he had the qualities to really help us from there and I’m very happy that he’s proved it over the last few weeks.

“I think Julian’s development is by no means over.”

Draxler added he is thrilled to come up against Galatasaray’s recently-acquired stars Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba but maintained the duo are part of an impressive collective.

“We know that Galatasaray are a very good team,” Draxler said.

“With Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba, of course they have two top stars but I think you should not underrate the other players, they are all good as a team.”

Mon 11 March, 2013
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