Thomas Reis: We have a clear target

Marius Bülter’s late, late winner in Mainz, coupled with the other results in the division over the following two days, means that FC Schalke 04 are no longer in the bottom three for the first time since matchday 8, something the Royal Blues will want to maintain until the end of the season. However, Thomas Reis’ side have an extremely difficult away game up next, as they travel to Munich to play FC Bayern on Saturday (13/5, 15:30 CEST). “We know what to expect,” said the head coach.

“We have lots of respect for our opponents. Bayern can be really horrible to play if they get going. They are always hungry for more goals, regardless of how many they have already scored. We will have to be prepared to suffer in Munich – I expect us to be chasing after the ball a lot,” stated Reis. Despite being underdogs against the league leaders, the 49-year-old will not just be accepting defeat before a ball has been kicked. “We will do all we can to get something from the game. We have a clear target in our minds. Our performances and results in recent weeks have put us in a good position. We want to build on that and give them a real game.”

Praise for the fans

The Schalke boss stressed the importance of taking the chances created after winning back the ball. “We did really well in our recent games and earned the little bit of luck that we had,” said Reis. “There will definitely be a few moments that won’t go to plan for us. We can’t let our heads drop in those situations and just have to keep on going.”

We did really well in our recent games and earned the little bit of luck that we had.

Thomas Reis

After picking up just nine points from the first 17 games of the season, Schalke are now on 30 points with three matches left to play. Reis puts this turnaround down to his team’s commitment and the coaching staff’s work too. Another factor for him is the fantastic support from the S04 fans. “They believe in us and cheer us on every week, even when things aren’t going so well. That really helps us,” praised Reis. Thousands of Schalke fans will be at the Allianz Arena this weekend to get behind their side.

Decisions to be made on the starting XI

Reis didn’t reveal his starting XI at the pre-match press conference, partly down to the fact that he still has a number of decisions to make. He wants to put out the best possible side he can, but may still make changes from the 3-2 win in Mainz due to nature of that game. “One or two lads might need a break after that match,” he explained. “The good thing is that we have options. The lads who haven’t started recently are giving their all in training.” Potential suspensions could also play a role in the side Reis selects. Marius Bülter, Moritz Jenz, Simon Terodde, Maya Yoshida and Rodrigo Zalazar are all one booking away from a ban.

The good thing is that we have options. The lads who haven’t started recently are giving their all in training.

Thomas Reis

Moritz Jenz is not available anyway for the trip to the Bavarian capital. The defender is still not 100% fit. “We will have to see if he can make the game next week,” revealed Reis. Justin Heekeren, Soichiro Kozuki and Ralf Fährmann remain unavailable too.

Reis gave an update on Fährmann: “His adductor issue isn’t hampering him so much now and he’s therefore been able to train again. He’s not training with the rest of the team yet and can’t play any long balls. We’ll have to wait and see if he plays again this season.” The coach also took the opportunity to praise his replacement, Alexander Schwolow: “He’s done really well so far.”