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Only victory will do for Rangnick

Published: Tuesday 1 November 2005, 10.57CET
FC Schalke 04 coach Ralf Rangnick has warned his team that they "must win" at home to Fenerbahçe SK if they want to make progress from Group E.
by Mark Bennett
from Gelsenkirchen

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Published: Tuesday 1 November 2005, 10.57CET

Only victory will do for Rangnick

FC Schalke 04 coach Ralf Rangnick has warned his team that they "must win" at home to Fenerbahçe SK if they want to make progress from Group E.

FC Schalke 04 go into their match against Fenerbahçe SK knowing anything less than a win would be a serious blow to their UEFA Champions League hopes - and defeat could also prove costly for the visitors in a tight Group E.

Schalke slump
Recently nothing has gone to plan for last season's German runners-up. In the Bundesliga, the team that pushed FC Bayern München all the way last term trail their rivals by ten points following a first seasonal defeat at Hamburger SV on Saturday, while in midweek the 2004/05 German Cup runners-up had suffered a 6-0 second-round loss at Eintracht Frankfurt.

'Must win'
In Group E Schalke are also without a win, though only three points adrift of leaders AC Milan and two behind their Turkish visitors, and coach Ralf Rangnick has no illusions as to what is needed. "We must win here on Tuesday," said Rangnick. "We have put ourselves in a situation where we must win our two remaining home games to have any hope of progressing and therefore the match against Fenerbahçe is the first of two finals."

Trio nursing knocks
Rangnick's side led twice in the second half in Istanbul a fortnight ago only to draw 3-3, and the coach could be without three key players at the Arena Aufschalke. "Levan Kobiashvili, Søren Larsen and Rafinha are all suffering from knocks they picked up at Hamburg," he said. "I am pretty sure that Levan will be able to return but Søren and Rafinha are in real danger of missing the match."

Team meeting
Coach and players held a meeting on Sunday to discuss the fallout from the losses to Eintracht and Hamburg. "I wasn't pleased with the attitude of the team. I didn't see enough dedication in Hamburg," Rangnick explained. "Being in form or not is one thing but dedication is something I always want to see from the side."

Daum homecoming
Fenerbahçe coach Christoph Daum has no such worries with his team three points clear at the top in Turkey. Indeed, Daum was extremely upbeat on his return to his homeland. "It is my first competitive match with Fenerbahçe in Germany and I am really looking forward to it. It is always special to return to my native country for a match," said Daum.

Victory target
"We have played three fantastic games in the Champions League so far and I expect my players to keep up the good work," continued the coach. "I said before the first match against Schalke that we want four points from the two matches, but you can work out what that means after the draw in Istanbul."

Alex suspended
However, Daum will have to replace influential Brazilian midfielder Alex, who was sent off for two bookable offences on Matchday 3. Yet even that did not dampen the former Bayer 04 Leverkusen boss's mood. "Things like that happen in football. We have had to replace players in the past and we will have to do so in the future," insisted Daum.

'Perfect present'
He is calling for a collective display to make up for the playmaker's absence: "We need a team effort to replace Alex and we need a team effort to win here. Every player in the squad has played and will play a part on Tuesday. It is our president's birthday on Wednesday and we want to give him the perfect present."

Last updated: 01/11/05 17.07CET