Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Germany

Pressure mounts on fiery Schalke boss



Schalke 04 are in danger of heading into a mid-season crisis after a winless run of four league matches and their fiery Dutch coach Huub Stevens is at the centre of the storm.

Schalke, who lifted some of the pressure by drawing at Montpellier in the Champions League on Tuesday to top their group with an unbeaten record, have a difficult match at seventh-placed VfB Stuttgart on Saturday.

The Gelsenkirchen team have slipped to fourth in the Bundesliga with 25 points after losing two and drawing two of their last four games and Stuttgart will pull level with them on points if they win on Saturday.

Stevens criticised Schalke's fans after last weekend's 1-1 draw at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach where he surprisingly replaced goalkeeper Lars Unnerstall with former Germany international Timo Hildebrand.

Stevens had previously criticised fans for booing Unnerstall and was again angry after they took part in the so-called silent protests against proposed tougher security measures in the Bundesliga during last Saturday's game.

Fans at several other matches also stayed silent for the opening few minutes to show their displeasure.

"I give compliments to the team but not for a certain section of the fans," said Stevens. "A high number of fans support the team, but a minority does not. I don't get it."

This has prompted speculation that Stevens, who took over the reins in September last year after Ralf Rangnick resigned citing exhaustion, could be replaced at the end of the season when his contract ends.

Sporting director Horst Heldt said that such talk was premature.

"Huub for me is an absolutely reliable partner, who I respect very much," he told the DPA news agency.

"We'll get together at some point and discuss everything alone. Since we have not talked yet, I cannot say anything. I do not know Huub's feelings on the matter."

Heldt previously told the SID sports news agency that he was also baffled by the fans reaction last week.

"I do not know why it happened," he said. "After all, it's a shame because you have to join forces if things are not going well. We all have to pull together.

"Stevens is certainly very emotional character and stands up for the team and each of his players. He does not hold back.

"Perhaps some find his statements unacceptable but that is how he is and he will remain that way."

The Bundesliga is on a high after Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, Germany's other Champions League representatives, also topped their groups this week.

Leaders Bayern, who have an eight-point advantage over Bayer Leverkusen, look unlikely to slip up on Saturday when they visit lowly Augsburg, who are 17th in the 18-team table and have only eight points from 15 games.

Leverkusen visit midtable Hanover 96 while third-placed Borussia Dortmund are away to VfL Wolfsburg.

Titleholders Dortmund are unbeaten in their last 11 games and held Bayern 1-1 away last weekend, although they have dropped 11 points adrift of the dominant Bavarians.



Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Dr Errol Sweeney
Ref assault should be condemned by all
The assault on a referee in Saudi Arabia recently should be condemned by all.

Neil Tovey
My Absa Prem team of the season
Games are won by scoring goals but defence wins titles. That rang true for Kaizer Chiefs.

Carol Radull
I'm not surprised Arsenal stumbled
Why am I not surprised that Arsenal has stumbled at the final hurdle, or close to the final hurdle?

Sunday Oliseh
Why Pep’s move could fire up the EPL
It’s the talk, speculation and rumour of the moment that, if true, could impact the English Premier...

Segun Odegbami
Messi, the little genius
After last Wednesday night, the challenge with writing about this little Argentine is not about how...

Calvin Emeka Onwuka
The best team always wins the league
One of the ironies of life is that the first time I heard the chant of “boring, boring”, it was...