Schalke target CL spot, insists Dutch hot-shot

10 December 2011 12:16

Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar hit his 25th goal of the season to put Schalke second in the German league behind Bayern Munich and said the Royal Blues' aim is to keep the pressure on the leaders.

Huntelaar scored in the 19th minute of Schalke's 2-1 win at Hertha Berlin on Friday as his team joined Bayern at the top of the German league on 31 points, but the Gelsenkirchen-based club are second on goal difference.

The Dutchman netted his 25th goal in 24 competitive matches before 21-year-old Finland striker Teemu Pukki hit Schalke's winner in the 44th minute after Colombia's Adrian Ramos had equalised for Berlin at the Olympic Stadium.

"Our goal is to finish amongst the top four and to play in the Champions League," said Huntelaar, who has scored 14 goals in 15 German league games.

"We want to stay at the top, where we are now."

Schalke have never won the Bundesliga title -- they were last German champions back in 1958 -- and their only defeat in their last 10 games has been at the hands of neighbours and defending German champions Dortmund.

Under coach Huub Stevens, Schalke are now amongst the league's top teams with just a point separating fourth from first.

"We started well and could have gone 2-0 up early on," said Dutchman Stevens, who is back at Schalke for his second stint at the club having taken over at the end of September.

"You could see the stability is not there yet and that is something we have to work on."

Schalke host Werder Bremen in the German league next Saturday on the last weekend of 2011 before the Bundesliga breaks for winter.

Source: AFP

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