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Apr, 15, 2013

Uncertainty over Schalke boss continues

Two late goals at home to third-placed Bayer Leverkusen secured a point to keep Schalke's hopes of a direct return to the Champions League alive as uncertainty over their future managerial plans continued.

With the future of current coach Jens Keller unclear, club chief Clemens Tonnies claimed Schalke had already made a decision about their future boss before later backtracking and indicating that no decision had yet been made.

Earlier this month, Tonnies said Keller could be named head coach on a permanent basis if he succeeded in guiding the club into the Champions League.

Keller - who replaced Huub Stevens in December, when he signed a contract until the end of the campaign - has steered Schalke to fourth place in the Bundesliga.

On Sunday, Tonnies praised Keller during a football talk show on German TV, saying: "Jens has once more shown he knows his stuff" and praising him for "a very, very positive development of the team".

He said: "We know with whom we will work from the summer on" but later told Bild no definite decision had yet been made and added: "We have a very clear plan, and we act according to it."

The confusion grew when Keller told kicker he did not know about any decision, saying: "If everything was decided, there would no longer be any reason to keep it a secret."

With five Bundesliga games left to play, Schalke still trail Leverkusen, in third spot, by four points after their 2-2 draw.

Leverkusen skipper Simon Rolfes opened the scoring six minutes before half-time, with Stefan Kiessling doubling the lead early in the second period.

But Finland international Teemu Pukki turned the game around after he was brought on as a substitute.

He pulled one back after 71 minutes and was fouled for a penalty with three minutes left. Midfielder Raffael converted to keep his team within striking distance of Leverkusen.

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