Schalke head coach Felix Magath told his players to forget about winning the Bundesliga crown after a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of title rivals Bayern Munich.
Bayern moved a point ahead of Schalke as a result of their win in Gelsenkirchen and Magath pulled no punches after the final whistle.
He told his club's official website: "That's removed the burden of us being leaders and of people talking about winning the title, because after a game like that none of my players need harbour any illusions about winning the league.
"We were too timid, too cautious in the second half. Instead of forcing Bayern into errors, we left them. That was our mistake.
"They deserved it. We failed to go about the game in the way we intended."