Freiburg clash not do-or-die for Schalkes Stevens

13 December 2012 05:46

Schalke 04 director of sport Horst Heldt has said Saturday's Bundesliga clash with Freiburg is not a do-or-die match for coach Hubb Stevens, despite his team's recent domestic slump.

Schalke qualified top of their Champions League group ahead of Premier League giants Arsenal, but have taken just two Bundesliga points from their last five games to drop from second to fifth.

Having slumped to a 3-1 defeat at VfB Stuttgart last weekend, Heldt has said Stevens will not be sacked even if his team lose again on Saturday.

"This is not a final (game) for Huub Stevens. We will keep calm and talk about the situation in the winter break," insisted Heldt.

Stevens took charge of Schalke for the second time in his career in September 2011 and the 59-year-old said there is no need for panic.

"We will take time to assess the situation (during the break)," said the Dutchman.

"Now the focus is on the games on Saturday and Tuesday."

After hosting Freiburg at Gelsenkirchen's Veltins Arena, Schalke are home to Mainz in the last 16 of the German Cup next Tuesday.

Against Freiburg, Stevens will be without Greece defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos, who had surgery on his left knee on Monday, while Dutch wing Ibrahim Afellay (hamstring) is not likely to be fit in time.

Source: AFP