New Schalke boss hints at Tedesco's exit if defeats continue


Berlin (AFP)

Another heavy defeat this weekend could mean the sack for head coach Domenico Tedesco, Schalke's new sports director hinted Tuesday, even with a key away leg looming at Manchester City in the Champions League.

Bundesliga strugglers Schalke unveiled Jochen Schneider as their new sports director - Tedesco's immediate boss - with the 48-year-old demanding an improved performance on Friday at Werder Bremen.

Under Tedesco, Schalke's woeful results are four defeats in five games, including a 3-2 loss at home to Pep Guardiola's City, who they face away in the last 16, return leg next Tuesday.

However, Schalke are in the thick of the Bundesliga's relegation battle.

Last Saturday's 4-0 thumping at home to Fortuna Duesseldorf, on the back of a heavy 3-0 defeat at Mainz, leave Schalke just four points from the bottom three in 14th place.

"We have to buck the trend. We need a coaching team that is fully focused and I'm a fan of continuity - but not when it damages our goal," said Schneider, who joined Schalke from rivals RB Leipzig.

"It's all about staying up, the game against Fortuna Dusseldorf has opened our eyes.

"We need a team which is fully involved and shows a different face to the one we have seen in the last few weeks."

Schalke went down fighting against City and took a shock 2-1 lead before late goals by Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling turned the tie.

However, this is one of the worst Bundesliga seasons in the club's history with 13 defeats in 24 league games.

Already, the German media are discussing possible replacements for Tedesco, who is only in his second season at Schalke having steered the Royal Blues to runners-up last season.

Reading between the lines in Schneider's first press conference, Tedesco, who is under contract until 2022, will be sacked unless things quickly pick up.

"Tedesco have made a big contribution to the club and it was unexpected when they finished runners-up, he remains optimistic and focused," said Schneider.

"I am not a fan of paying lip service and I'm not saying we will follow the contract (Tedesco's) through until the end.

"I am optimistic we can turn things around.

"However, what happens in the next three or four weeks is not interesting - it's only about what happens on Friday."