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Schalke coach Keller not fearing the sack

Keller's position has been called into question due to the Gelsenkirchen club's disappointing Bundesliga campaign so far.

Schalke are sixth in the table, 17 points behind leaders Bayern Munich and 10 adrift of second-placed Bayer Leverkusen, but they have qualified for the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League and face a mouth-watering tie against Real Madrid.

Speculation has been rife that Keller could be sacked, with former Werder Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf reported to be lined up to replace him.

Schalke held a board meeting on Monday, which resulted in further talk that Keller's position was under threat, but he is not expecting to be shown the door just a year after replacing Huub Stevens.

Keller said: "I think this is a normal situation, we have had one year together now and of course we have to analyse everything; what was good, what's was bad, where the team can be improved and so on.

“I personally think my contributions have helped but we still have room to improve. I looked forward to this meeting and I'll remain calm."

Benedikt Howedes and Julian Draxler (both hamstring) are just two of the players on Schalke's injury list and Keller hopes they will play a part in the winter training camp, but has not set a date for their return.

The former Stuttgart coach hopes to be given the green light to bolster his squad when the transfer window opens in the New Year.

He said: "We will have to see for now, but something we will definitely consider going into the second half of this season with five injured players, it's not easy to cover all of them.

"If we have some options, it would be beneficial to bring in some players. But we also have to check our financial situation before and see how long some of the injured players will take to recover."