A very convincing performance
The Royal Blues will be playing European football after the winter break. It is not yet clear in which competition, but the goal, at least according to Christian Heidel, is to be in the last 16 of the Champions League. “It would be a bit odd if we said we want to go into the Europa League”, said the sporting director. “After the win over Galatasaray, we are now in a great position to qualify for the next round.”
After the 2-0 win over the Turkish Champions on Tuesday (6/11), Schalke now have a four point lead over third-placed Galatasaray with two group games to be played. The Royal Blues could seal their place in the last 16 after the next game in Porto on November 28th.
Carry on working hard
The performance against Galatasaray was as important as ensuring S04 would be playing European football again in the second half of the season. “The lads got their tactics right, fought hard and played very well,” praised the 55-year-old. “If you don’t do one of those things it can be difficult to win games. We put everything into the game on the day and were deserved victors. It wasn’t just comfortable, but a fantastic result.”
One thing we have learnt is that we cannot afford to drop off.
Domenico Tedesco also certified that his team is going in the right direction after the below-par start to the season. “We have built up some confidence now after having won a few games,” said the head coach. “One thing we have learnt is that we cannot afford to drop off.” Christian Heidel has a similar view on the situation: “We have to carry on working hand!” Heidel felt that the team had still showed a positive mentality in the first few games, but were just lacking the application that they now are applying.
Alexander Nübel, who was once again in goal against Galatasaray, and kept another clean sheet, felt that the team played just as well as they did in Istanbul. “We kept the ball well, got in behind as we’d planned and thus deserved to win,” summarised the keeper.
Heidel praises Burgstaller’s killer instinct
The biggest difference from the game in the Türk Telekom Stadion was that the Royal Blues took their chances and ultimately got what they deserved from the game. After just a few minutes the net was already bulging as Guido Burgstaller showed his killer instinct in front of goal. “I knew roughly where I was and also that the keeper wasn’t in his goal,” reported the Austrian, who stole the ball from Galatasaray keeper Fernando Muslera on the edge of the box after the Uruguayan lost the ball. The striker admitted that there was some luck involved, but Christian Heidel stated: “That was a typical Burgi goal. It summed him up perfectly – he never gives up on a pass and never switches off.”
Schalke’s sporting director discussed the fact that the team had been missing some luck in the first few Bundesliga games like they got for the first goal. “Now things are going our way again. If there was a video assistant in the Champions League, our second goal would probably have been disallowed, so we probably got a bit lucky in the end.” Breel Embolo was standing in an offside position as Mark Uth shot. Heidel also remembered the first game of the group against Porto: “They were given a penalty which shouldn’t have been given though.”
Upon leaving the stadium, the focus was already being switched to Sunday’s game in Frankfurt (11/11). “We have a big game ahead of us, one we want to win so we can carry on climbing up the table”, stated Heidel. One thing is for sure: The Royal Blues will go there full of confidence.