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By ESPN Staff

Buskens strengthens case for Schalke job

Mike Buskens has boosted his chances of landing the Schalke job on a permanent basis after Friday night's 4-0 win over Arminia Bielefeld, the third victory in a row for the Royal Blues since Fred Rutten was sacked.

Buskens took over along with Youri Mulder and Oliver Reck in a three-pronged coaching team on an interim basis until the end of the season.

However, their record, including the six games they led at the end of last season following the dismissal of Mirko Slomka, now reads eight wins and one draw, which is why the calls for him to remain in charge are intensifying.

However, Buskens insists he is still not considering the long-term future.

"I am not at all interested about this discussion of who should be coach," he said. "The only thing that interests me is the game in Munich's Allianz Arena, where I have never been as a coach."

Yet the chances of him returning next season could not be stronger. Slomka was promoted from within and led Schalke to their most successful position in the Champions League by reaching the quarter-finals last season.

He was sacked with the side lying third in the table and still in with a shout of the title.

The Westphalian club then went for an external option by fetching Rutten from FC Twente, but his reign never really took off, resulting in his dismissal three weeks ago.

Which is why the internal option of Buskens, Mulder and Reck, who have yet to taste defeat while in charge, would certainly go down well with the fans, who remain hungry for success.

They have a little more to cheer now with last night's victory lifting Schalke to sixth in the table and to within two points of a place in Europe next season, the unlikely goal given to Buskens when he took over three games ago.

Cottbus, on the other hand, slip even closer to relegation and could fall four points adrift of safety this weekend.

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