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By ESPN Staff

Magath shrugs off speculation after win

Schalke manager Felix Magath shrugged off rumours he may soon be out of a job and instead revelled in Wednesday night's 3-1 victory over Valencia in the Champions League, which earned his side a place in the quarter-finals.

• Schalke 3-1 Valencia

Schalke ensured their name would figure among the top eight clubs in Europe when the draw for the next round takes place on March 18, yet speculation suggests Magath may no longer be in charge when that comes around.

Reports in Germany on Wednesday claimed that Schalke bosses have already decided to part company with Magath in the summer, although he could even be relieved of his duties as soon as this weekend if his side does not take three points against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga.

But Magath is ignoring the rumours and, after guiding Schalke into the final of the DFB-Pokal last week, he is looking to do the same in the Champions League.

"We don't need to take any notice of the speculation,'' he said. "The truth is on the pitch. Nobody has spoken to me and I still have a contract until 2013 so this is not even an issue.

"We have shown that we find it easier to play against teams who are technically strong. I am proud that we have been able to knock out a top Spanish side.''

Meanwhile, Schalke striker Raul admits he would prefer to avoid more Spanish opposition in the quarter-finals of the Champions League - especially what would be an "emotional'' return to former club Real Madrid.

Raul helped Schalke dump Valencia out at the last-16 stage on Wednesday, winning the second leg at home 3-1 for a 4-2 aggregate victory.

"I'm very happy. For Schalke to be in the quarters is a very important step. Now we can enjoy two more games against a great opponent because, whoever it is, they will be among the best in Europe. We will try to make it difficult for them and dream of the semi-finals,'' Raul said.

"I would prefer for us not to face any Spanish team. I don't want Madrid because it would be too emotional to return to the Santiago Bernabeu wearing another shirt."


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