Thomas Reis: Focusing on ourselves and not other results
Thomas Reis will not be worrying too much about the other results around the grounds on matchday 34 in Leipzig. “We know that we need a good result ourselves,” said the S04 head coach before Saturday’s game (27/5, 15:30 CEST). Schalke go into the final day in 17th place, one point adrift of both 16th (the relegation play-off position) and 15th (safety).
“We can only influence our own game, not the other results unfortunately,” said Reis. “It’s therefore important that we focus on ourselves and get the job done.” The Royal Blues know that if they lose to the DFB-Pokal finalists they will be relegated from the Bundesliga, regardless of the results in Bochum and Stuttgart, a scenario that Reis is not thinking about right now.
Aggressive style of play to frustrate RB
The 49-year-old is far more interested in a good performance from his own team. “I wouldn’t bother travelling to Leipzig if I didn’t believe we could still stay up,” he stressed. “We will try all we can to get the three points. It will definitely be difficult against a team like RB, but not impossible. It’s not a normal situation because you have to look at other results too. We most certainly won’t be playing for just a point.”
I wouldn’t bother travelling to Leipzig if I didn’t believe we could still stay up.
The coach reported that his side have been extremely focused in training this week. “RB may not be able to play to their best if we play with real aggression from the first whistle. It’s up to us,” he explained. The fact that Leipzig have the DFB-Pokal final to come and may well rest some players against S04 is not playing a big role in Schalke’s preparations. “RB have the squad to replace any player. We have to focus on ourselves.”
Schalke’s coach is also placing no importance on the meeting between the two sides earlier this year, a 6-1 defeat at the VELTINS-Arena in January. Instead, he is thinking back to the time after that heavy loss to finish the first half of the season. “We hit rock bottom back then,” he stated. “We’re eighth in a table representing the second half of the season. We’ve gone in the right direction over the past weeks and months and want to show this once again in Leipzig. I believe in the lads and I believe we can achieve our goal together.”
Jenz and Terodde banned, Bülter available again
S04 will be without Moritz Jenz and Simon Terodde against the side third in the table. They both picked up their fifth yellow cards of the season in the 2-2 draw against Eintracht Frankfurt last time out. Marius Bülter, however, is available again after missing that match. Schalke’s top goalscorer on 11 goals was booked for the fifth time too in Munich the week before.
Ralf Fährmann could also return to face Leipzig. The goalkeeper, who suffered an adductor injury just over five weeks ago in the 5-2 win over Hertha BSC, has been training with the team again recently. “He’s looking good right now,” revealed Reis. “We will discuss things again tomorrow and decide what makes the most sense,” he added regarding Schalke’s number 1, whilst also stressing that he has full faith in all the goalkeepers in the squad.
Aside from Fährmann, Tom Krauß is also a slight doubt. The Germany U21 international had to come off injured against Frankfurt. “Tom is still in a bit of pain. We will have to see if he’s fit enough after the final training session.”