Huub Stevens: Put in a good performance with the fans behind us
FC Schalke 04 will be hoping for a better performance against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on Saturday (20/4, 20:30 CEST), than they put in against 1. FC Nürnberg in a 1-1 draw last Friday. There are still a few uncertainties regarding the squad that head coach Huub Stevens will have available to him.
Long-term absentees Alessandro Schöpf and Mark Uth will definitely miss the game, while it’s unlikely that Steven Skrzybski will be fit. “Steven will be looked at on Thursday and then we will see whether or not he has a chance of making the game or not,” said Stevens. Breel Embolo and Cedric Teuchert are also concerns for the game after the pair have both been ill this week. “Breel managed to train on Wednesday, so I’m hoping that he’ll make the game on Saturday,” confirmed Stevens. Teuchert will look to rejoin training on Thursday, in a bid to be an option for Stevens’ final squad against Hoffenheim.
Positive signals from the team
Ahmed Kutucu is another option Stevens normally has up his sleeve; however the 19-year-old has also been out of training this week. “Ahmed was also ill at the start of the week,” revealed the Dutchman. “I hope that he will have enough strength to feature on Saturday. We have other options if not.”
Stevens is convinced that his team will show a positive reaction against Hoffenheim after the under-par performance in Nürnberg, where S04 struggled going forward in particular. “I have seen from positive signals from the team again this week,” said the 65-year-old, adding: “If anybody hasn’t realised what kind of situation we are in right now, then they never will.”
If anybody hasn’t realised what kind of situation we are in right now, then they never will.
One problem for the Royal Blues this season has been their failure to take points against teams in the top half of the table. Now the time has come for the team to show that they deserve to be higher up in the table than they are. Stevens also admitted: “It’s difficult to get out of the bottom echelons of the table once you slip down there.”
Free ourselves from the current situation
Stevens has tried to take pressure off the team himself, but also made it clear that it would be better “if the team do it themselves by playing well.” The performance in Nürnberg wasn’t good enough and Stevens fully understood why the fans reacted so negatively after the game. According to Stevens, “the players were disappointed themselves.” “Now we have to put that game behind us and put a good performance in with the fans behind us. The values that define Schalke are now more important than ever.”