Schalke news

Keller playing to win

March 11, 2013
By Stephan Uersfeld, Germany Correspondent

Schalke boss Jens Keller says his team have no intention of playing for a goalless draw in the second leg of their Champions League tie against Galatastarary on Tuesday evening.

Jens Keller
AssociatedJens Keller has Schalke within striking distance of third place

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After drawing the first leg of their last-16 clash 1-1 in Turkey, the Germans go into the return match at the Schalke Arena in confident mood, having won three Bundesliga games in a row - the most recent a 2-1 derby win over Borussia Dortmund at the weekend - and Keller is looking to secure another victory on Tuesday.

"We will not start calculating now and say we will play for a goalless draw," Keller told the pre-match press conference on Monday. "It would be far too dangerous, so we will not park the bus.

"They have a lot of individual quality in attack. We need to be wide-awake. As against Wolfsburg (a 4-1 victory) or Dortmund we must have the nerve to attack if we are to be successful."

The Royal Blues are, so far, unbeaten in this year's Champions League and have only lost two of their last 16 games at home in the competition.

"We will gladly take the high of the derby win into the game. The euphoria and the way we were supported by our fans was something very special and could certainly help us against Galatasaray," Keller said.

He also dismissed the notion that the tens of thousands of Turkish immigrants living in Germany could help the visitors to combat Schalke's home advantage.

"I expect a 100% home game, when you see how the fans supported us against Dortmund," he said.

Schalke will be without Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who suffered a knee injury at the weekend and now faces eight weeks out.

"It is not as bad as we expected," Keller said, "but we will have to do without him for a number of weeks. It makes no sense to moan about it. Teemu Pukki is an option. We are considering many alternatives."

Meanwhile, in-form midfielder Julian Draxler revealed his recent form in front of goal owes something to former Schalke star Raul.

"Ahead of the Wolfsburg game I watched videos of his goals," he said of a match in which the 19-year-old's brace had paved the way for a first away win since October.

He has also been helped by the departure of Lewis Holtby to Tottenham, even if he was not happy to see the midfielder leave.

"I tried to play the role as well as possible, and I got better," he said. "I have shown I can fill that position."

Draxler is wary of the threat Schalke face on Tuesday.

"We know that Galatasaray have a very good team," he said. "With Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder they have signed two top stars, but we should not underestimate the other players. Of course, it is nice to be on the pitch playing against such world stars."