“We’re a positive-thinking team”

Schalke didn’t imagine that their season would start like this. The Royal Blues followed up last weekend’s loss against Wolfsburg with another defeat; this time at home to Hertha Berlin. The team are remaining optimistic however, and are convinced that things will start to look up soon. There’s no reason to panic.

Schalke fans had to experience an unfamiliar feeling in their 0-2 defeat to Hertha Berlin. For the first time in more than a year, their team missed a penalty. Daniel Caligiuri put the ball wide of the post after referee Sascha Stegemann awarded the Royal Blues a penalty for handball after consulting VAR.

Before the miss against Hertha, Caligiuri had scored all ten penalties he had taken in the Bundesliga. Captain Ralf Fährmann doesn’t blame his teammate, however: “We scored every penalty we got last season, so we were going to miss one at some point,” said Schalke’s No. 1 following the game.

Just two minutes after the penalty miss, things went from bad to worse for Schalke. Ondrej Duda put Hertha into the lead with a shot that deflected off defender Salif Sané. “It’s annoying, we didn’t have luck on our side,” said Fährmann, before adding: “We need to get ourselves out of this situation now.”

Too many misplaced passes

Schalke had no complaints about their errors that led to Hertha’s two goals. “We made too many misplaced passes and mistakes in the game,” said Naldo after the game. Sebastian Rudy, who made his Schalke debut in the defeat, was also annoyed by the amount of poor passes: “We shouldn’t let that happen again.”

The Royal Blues were on top in the first half and spent a lot of time in and around the Hertha box. “The first half was okay,” said head coach Domenico Tedesco after the game, stating that his team lost the game because of “a very poor second half.”

“We need to get ourselves out of this situation now.”

Ralf Fährmann

Schalke only started to threaten in the final minutes of the second period, with Hertha goalkeeper Jarstein denying both Guido Burgstaller and Mark Uth.

In extra-time, Duda scored a free-kick from around 18 yards out to put the visitors 2-0 up and secure Hertha’s first win in the VELTINS-Arena for 14 years. Yevhen Konoplyanka had fouled Dennis Jastrzembski to concede the free-kick, and picked up a red card.

“We’ve got time to put things right”

Despite the poor start to their Bundesliga campaign, everyone at Schalke is remaining optimistic. “Obviously we didn’t expect to start like this, but we’ve only played two games and we’ve got time to put things right,” said sporting director Christian Heidel. There’s no reason to panic. “I have complete confidence that we’ll be able to handle the situation,” added Heidel.

Naldo is also positive about the situation, stating that conceding four goals in two games is not like Schalke, but “we shouldn’t let it unsettle us. We need to carry on working to get back on track,” said the Brazilian. “I’m positive that we’ll be able to do it. We’re a team that thinks positively and that can get through difficult times.”