Peter Knäbel: Many staff members are pitching in and promising their support
Peter Knäbel took over overall sporting responsibility until further notice for the Royal Blues on Sunday 28th February. In an interview with Schalke TV, the academy and development director speaks about the current situation at the club, next steps, and the first decisions that will be made concerning personnel.
The 54-year-old reports that many hours of intense but highly significant talks have been had recently. This includes a first meeting with the team in the first team performance centre.
The decision as to who will take charge in Friday’s game against 1. FSV Mainz 05 and beyond has not yet been made, explains Knäbel. “That’s the most important question and for the most important questions, you need enough time to consider all your options. You have to bear in mind that it has barely been 48 hours since I accepted this new role. This decision is so important that we need time in order to ensure it’s well thought through.”
Mike Büskens becomes assistant coach
One thing is for sure though, and that’s that many staff members are pitching in and are promising their support. “Mike Büskens, for example, has declared his willingness to coach the team not just provisionally, but on a permanent basis. He will be an anchor in the first team performance centre moving forward,” says Peter Knäbel. “The players are happy that Buyo is back. He is very popular within the squad.”
Gerald Asamoah has also taken on a new role, with the U23s coach succeeding Sascha Riether as coordinator between players and coaching team until the end of the season. In addition to this, Knappenschmiede fitness coach Sebastian Klein will be taking on a new role with the first team. “He will be filling the gap left by Werner Leuthard’s departure,” explains Knäbel.
Full support for the team
Knäbel is expecting a top attitude from the whole squad and coaching staff for Friday night’s home game against Mainz. “They will have our full support,” stresses the 54-year-old. At the same time, Knäbel is keen to emphasise the importance of the duel against Bo Svensson’s team: “We’re up against our immediate relegation rivals. We have the opportunity to make up ground we’ve lost over the last few weeks and we have to take advantage of it. I’m expecting a good performance from the team and that depends on having a positive and professional attitude. Then we can get a good result.”