Huub Stevens: That has to give us some confidence
Eight days after the derby win against Dortmund, Schalke are looking towards their next important clash. On Sunday (5/5), the Royal Blues face Augsburg (13:30 CEST). The game should be a decisive factor in the relegation battle heading into the last few games of the season. Head coach Huub Stevens hopes that the success in Dortmund should bring new strength into the team during the final run-in.
“We showed against Dortmund what we can do – and that has to give us some confidence,” said the 65-year-old ahead of the game against Augsburg. Stevens stressed that the derby win was a bit like a plaster for the painful season that has passed, however: “One win doesn’t suddenly make everything okay!”
This season has gone badly overall, but there are a few games remaining in order to make it slightly better. The players also know that there are still three very important matches left. “They know where we are in the table and that we don’t want to be there,” said Stevens, who’s certain that the game against Augsburg will be a very different game to the one in Dortmund. “Augsburg play a different kind of football to Dortmund – and so we need to find the right tactics to deal with their style.”
Game time for Sané and Bruma still possible
It’s still not certain what squad will be available for Stevens in the upcoming game. Salif Sané was not involved in the training session on Friday due to injury, similar to Jeffrey Bruma, who sat out training on Thursday. Yevhen Konoplyanka, Mark Uth, Steven Skrzybski, Cedric Teuchert, Sascha Riether and Alessandro Schöpf are all unavailable for the match with injuries. Stevens will decide the squad based on who completes the remaining training session.
The upcoming opponents from Bavaria have been doing well since their new coach arrived at the start of April, said Stevens. Augsburg won their first two games under new coach Martin Schmidt however recently lost 4-1 against Bayer Leverkusen. Stevens emphasised that his side should concentrate on themselves and what this game means for the team.
We are focusing solely on ourselves and the task at hand with Augsburg. Everything else is unimportant for us.
The Dutchman also spoke about the game between VfB Stuttgart and Hertha Berlin, which will have already taken place (Saturday, 15:30 CEST) by the time Schalke plays on Sunday. Should Stuttgart lose in the Olympiastation, the Royal Blues would be six points from the relegation play-off spot, meaning survival in the top flight would be almost assured. Stevens was not too interested about the game, however, stating, “We have no influence on that match,” continuing, “We are focusing solely on ourselves and the task at hand with Augsburg. Everything else is unimportant for us.”