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Stevens not blaming Neustaedter

Schalke coach Huub Stevens has backed midfielder Roman Neustaedter to bounce back from a rare mistake against Arsenal in the Champions League.

An error by Neustaedter allowed Olivier Giroud to pick out Theo Walcott for Arsenal’s opener in their 2-2 draw with the Gunners, but Stevens felt the German was not the only one to blame.

“Look at how he keeps hold of the ball and I think the first goal against Arsenal wasn’t just his fault,” Stevens said.

“There would have been many players who would have helped him. But it is seen as his fault and apart from this he did play well against Arsenal.”

Neustaedter has since been called up by Germany coach Joachim Loew as part of his squad for their upcoming friendly with the Netherlands on November 14, and Stevens feels the selection is justified.

“For me that is a positive – I am happy for Roman,” he said.

“Joachim Loew has also contacted me and I think Roman deserved the call-up because he is one of our most consistent players this season.

“So when you are invited to play for the national team it is a compliment for him. But this is only next week. Before that, we have to play an important match (on Saturday against Werder Bremen) which is also very important for Roman.

“”They (Bremen) have great qualities in attack and they try to play for that.

“They play attacking football and try to pressure the opponent with their quick players. Additionally they have some players in midfield who are able to play quick passes. They have quick reactions.

“We must play in midfield with our own qualities.”

Fri 9 November, 2012
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