More than Bundesliga survival wanted by Schalke’s Tonnies
Schalke's Bundesliga hopes ended a long time ago and they are currently fourth from bottom
Clemens Tonnies admits the Bundesliga title is out of the question for Schalke this season, but he still expects more from the club than simply avoiding relegation to the second tier of German football.
Schalke begun the season as serious contenders to win the Bundesliga title, but a disastrous start soon left them with a mountain to climb.
However, a run of five games unbeaten in all competitions suggested that they could still mount a change for the European places.
Although defying odds of 125/1 to win the Bundesliga would always be unlikely, they may have fancied their chances of closing the 21-point gap on current leaders Borussia Dortmund.
But rather than take the three points from their away clash with Kaiserslautern, Schalke fell to a 5-0 defeat against one of this season’s newly-promoted additions to the Bundesliga.
This result did not please chairman Tonnies and he has signalled that he expects far more from Felix Magath.
Tonnies told Bild newspaper: “The coach and manager Felix Magath now has to explain and how we get out of this.
“We are talking about the performance of the team. I have no worries about Schalke getting relegated. But I had and have a much higher expectation in Felix Magath than just survival.”
Schalke’s domestic form is even more surprising given the fact that they top Group B in the Champions League with one game remaining and have already qualified for the knockout stages of the competition.
Victory away at Benfica in their final game will mean they will progress as group winners and should ensure that they are handed an easier game in the last 16 of the tournament.
If they manage this then their current price of 50/1 to win the Champions League will surely shorten.
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