Nearly half an hour passed before Huub Stevens could spare a word for tomorrow's match as the Schalke coach's future dominated the agenda at today's pre-match press conference.
A run of five games without a win has given way to widespread media speculation over the Dutchman's future, with tomorrow's game with Freiburg and next week's DFB-Pokal clash with Mainz viewed by many as pivotal.
Yet according to the club's director of sport, Horst Heldt, reports of Stevens' plight have been greatly exaggerated.
``This is no final for Huub Stevens,'' Heldt said. ``I don't know who invents these kinds of things.
``We will be discussing the situation in peace and quiet over the winter break.''
Stevens insists his focus is on alleviating the pressure with two much-needed wins.
``In the bad times, you have got to be even more united, be even more positive That is what we're doing. The players are their biggest critics, but that can be in a positive manner,'' he said.
``I can see and feel that every day in training - they have the will.''
Conversely, Freiburg coach Christian Streich has no concerns about his job, with Freiburg once again exceeding expectations.
They have not lost any of their last four away games, a run which stretches back two and a half months.
``I hope we play as well as we did in Hannover or against Stuttgart,'' Streich said.
``But it is going to be crucial that we play courageously.''