Schalke ‘hoping to park bus at Bayern’
Schalke director Horst Heldt has warned that the club do not have time to dwell on their 6-1 Champions League defeat to Real Madrid with a Bundesliga trip to Bayern Munich approaching this weekend.
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The Royal Blues were humiliated on Wednesday as Madrid ran riot at the Veltins-Arena in the last-16 first-leg clash, effectively booking their place in the quarterfinals.
“The team appears to be in low spirits,” Heldt told reporters the morning after the thrashing, admitting that he did not sleep well.
However, the Bundesliga schedule leaves Schalke little time to recover from their biggest ever defeat in European competition, with a visit to the Allianz Arena on Saturday up next.
The Royal Blues will be without centre-back Felipe Santana -- who tore a muscle on Wednesday and will be out for several weeks -- against a side who have already beaten them 4-0 this season.
“Bayern are even better than Real,” Heldt said in Bild. “They are way out with even more compactness. It will be extremely difficult to get into dangerous positions against them.”
Schalke coach Jens Keller echoed Heldt’s words, saying: “Bayern have even better ball control and they are always likely to score. We have made an application at the German Football Federation to be allowed to park the team bus in goal.”
Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who played for the Royal Blues until moving to the Bavarian club in 2011, warned his teammates not to take Schalke lightly.
“They’ll show what they’re made of after a defeat like that,” Neuer told Bayern's official website. “I obviously know Schalke better than anyone else in the team and I know their strengths and weaknesses. And I know they’re not just turning up in Munich to let us win”
Despite their defeat to Madrid, Schalke have picked up 13 points from their last five Bundesliga games and sit fourth, just one point behind rivals Borussia Dortmund.
“You can see that they are hungry! They are just behind Dortmund, and will certainly want to overtake them,” Neuer added.
Mario Goetze, meanwhile, has said that despite Bayern’s run of 47 Bundesliga games without defeat, “there is always room for improvement.”
Speaking to Sport 1, the Germany international, who joined Bayern for 37 million euros last summer from Dortmund, added that things could not be any better for him right now.
“The life I live -- that’s how I have always pictured it to be,” he said. “I am living the dream and I would swap it for noting.”