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Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Schalke look to bounce back

Stephan Uersfeld, Germany Correspondent

Schalke face a test of their mettle at home to French title-holders Montpellier in the Champions League on Wednesday after recent disappointing performances.

• Montpellier's Girard feeling confident

A solid start to the season brought seven points from three matches, but Schalke lost 2-0 at home to Bayern and then, despite beating Mainz 3-0 at the Schalke Arena, were booed and whistled by some supporters.

Three days later, they threw away a 2-0 half-time lead to draw 2-2 against Fortuna Dusseldorf - but director of football Horst Heldt is optimistic that they can rediscover their form against the French side.

He told Reviersport: "Players, officials and fans are all looking forward to the match. And I know that the fans - as always - will be supporting us.

"It's every spectator's right to express their opinion in the stadium. But it won't be of any help, especially for our young players, when they are whistled at."

Austria captain Christian Fuchs, one of Schalke's key players, said the team had to learn from their mistakes "as soon as possible" and warned his team-mates not to be fooled by Montpellier's slow start to the season.

Skipper Benedikt Hoewedes added: "A team that won the league in France will certainly not be underestimated by us."

And coach Huub Stevens said Montpellier "have some very good players, like Souleymane Camara, Younes Belhanda and Anthony Mournier. The boys are not well known in Germany. But that means nothing".

Midfielder Jermaine Jones and winger Jefferson Farfan have injury problems and could miss the match for Schalke.

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