Tedesco accepts that Schalke are in a battle for survival

GELSENKIRCHEN, GERMANY - MARCH 02: Domenico Tedesco, Manager of FC Schalke 04 acknowledges the fans after the Bundesliga match between FC Schalke 04 and Fortuna Duesseldorf at Veltins-Arena on March 02, 2019 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Domenico Tedesco accepts that Schalke 04 are in the midst of a battle for survival in the Bundesliga following Saturday’s 4-0 home defeat to Fortuna Dusseldorf.

The Royal Blues’ miserable domestic campaign continued in front of their home supporters at the VELTINS-Arena with Dodi Lukebakio putting Dusseldorf in front in the 35th-minute with a penalty after previously having a goal ruled out by VAR.

Sampdoria loanee Dawid Kownacki then scored his first two goals for the visitors with Benito Raman grabbing the other to seal a stunning victory for Dusseldorf.

Schalke, on the other hand, were left speechless afterwards with under-fire coach Tedesco even going to the stands to apologise to the home fans for such a disappointing defeat.

Last season’s runners-up in the Bundesliga are now down in 14th-place this term and just two spots above the drop zone on the back of failing to win their last six games.

“That was an extremely bad performance. It was too flat and lifeless and we didn’t play with enough spirit,” admitted Tedesco on the club website.

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“You could sense our uncertainty after just our second pass in the game. We lost possession so many times, which you cannot afford to do against them. As a result, we conceded several goals.

“We had trained really well this week and I had a good feeling before the game. In the game itself, we were really nervous.

“The fans were understandably frustrated and aggressive. I apologised for the performance, which was the least we could do in this situation. We are right down in a relegation battle now and our character will be questioned.”

Schalke will next take a trip to Werder Breman on Friday in the Bundesliga before visiting Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on March 12 for the second leg of their last-16 Champions League tie.

Tedesco’s side currently trail the Premier League champions 3-2 on aggregate.

GELSENKIRCHEN, GERMANY – MARCH 02: Domenico Tedesco, Manager of FC Schalke 04 acknowledges the fans after the Bundesliga match between FC Schalke 04 and Fortuna Duesseldorf at Veltins-Arena on March 02, 2019 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Bongarts/Getty Images)