'We produce when it matters', says Timo Hildebrand
Published : 21 Feb 2013 11:17:25Rss feed
Schalke goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand felt Wednesday night's 1-1 draw at Galatasaray demonstrated his team's ability to rise to the occasion and put them on course for a place in the Champions League quarter-finals.
The Royal Blues' Bundesliga form has dipped of late, but Hildebrand believes the result in Istanbul showed his side produce their best when it matters - and that augurs well for the second leg on March 12.
"Schalke have always been a club who thrive on these knockout matches," the former Germany international said. "We are always there when it matters. We could have been even greater spoilsports here had the pitch been a little better."
Schalke will nevertheless accept a draw in such hostile surroundings, which they will now look to reciprocate for their opponents at the Arena AufSchalke in three weeks' time.
"I have never experienced anything like this stadium," midfielder Julian Draxler said.
"We were playing against 60,000 people, and a good Galatasaray team. I would say we've battled our way into a good position and we can go into the second leg positively."
Before then, though, Schalke need to show the same battling qualities in three Bundesliga matches in order to keep alive their hopes of playing in Europe again next season - without having to rely on winning the Champions League outright.
With just one league win in 2013, the Gelsenkirchen club go into Saturday's game against Fortuna Dusseldorf with a lot of catching up to do.
"Our domestic duties are now the priority," goalscorer Jermaine Jones said.
"We have seen another face of Schalke compared to the way we have been playing in the Bundesliga and we go into the Dusseldorf game knowing we have got to win this game."