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08.04.2008 18:03

Slomka claims talk of miracles is excessive

Berta Brau

Mirko Slomka and Halil Altintop agree that the game at the Camp Nou will be difficult and that the key to winning will be “a good second half in which we must not stop putting pressure on the opposition”.

Hotel AC Miramar, where Schalke 04 are based, was the venue at 3.00 for Tuesday pre-match press conference from the German delegation ahead of Wednesday night’s Champions League showdown.

A miracle needed?

080408entrenament_x5x.jpgSchalke 04 manager, Mirko Slomka, considers that “although this is not the best time to play Barça after losing at home” to “speak of a miracle is excessive. I think that if the team makes an effort on an individual and collective level we can win without it having to be any kind of miracle.”

The way to win

Schalke 04 are in trouble as they come to Barcelona after losing the first leg at home in Gelsenkirchen (0-1). But Halil Altintop is convinced they can still go through, saying “in the first leg we found it hard to work out how to manage the game but in the second we went out and created pressure right from the start. Our good football in the second 45 minutes is enough for us to feel optimistic about Wednesday’s game, as we have to continue in the same way.”

Barça in German eyes

QM3D4904.jpgSlomka described Barça as “a very good team, they have a great combination of players that are able to score a lot of goals”, although they may suffer because of so many injuries, something Schalke want to take advantage of.

Asked which Barça players are most likely to tip the balance given the absences of Ronaldinho, Messi and Deco, the manager replied that “all the Barça players are dangerous”. But he did say that Xavi and Iniesta are two players that “stand out for their technical qualities”.

Naming names

080408entrenament_x4x.jpg“At the moment we cannot speak about the line-up because we are hanging on the state of some of the players”, commented Slomka in reference to figures like Heiko Westermann and Christian Pander. As for Kevin Kuranyi, both Slomka and Altintop agreed that despite his injury concerns “he is on good form, as he showed in the game against Rostock.”
Slomka claims talk of miracles is excessive
Video motivation
One of the journalists in the room asked Mirko Slomka if it was true that he had used videos of Mohamed Ali and Liverpool’s comeback against Milan to motivate his side before important matches. And the Schalke boss said he did indeed, and laughed that “at the moment it’s working well. I will use the same tactic tomorrow, and it will work even better!”

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