FC Schalke 04 may be in the midst of injury and form crises but midfielder Jermaine Jones is determined to upset Chelsea FC and get back on track in Group B.
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FC Schalke 04 may be facing crises on the pitch and in the treatment room, but Jermaine Jones is determined to upset Chelsea FC and ensure that Mirko Slomka does not become the fourth coach to be relieved of his duties in UEFA Champions League Group B.
With Schalke having taken two points from their last four Bundesliga games, and having sunk to the bottom of Group B, Slomka has work to do to avoid the same fate as Chelsea's José Mourinho, Rosenborg BK's Knut Tørum and Valencia CF's Quique Sánchez Flores. Starting on Tuesday, with what Jones describes as "a must-win game". "We have to make amends," the energetic midfielder said. "It's a great game for us to be involved in. It would not be fair for us to hide, as we are the ones who have to show what we can do on the pitch and give everything we've got. We should not try to hide behind discussions about the coach."
The 26-year-old admits that Schalke, who have drawn six out of 12 Bundesliga matches and lie seventh in Germany, have not been clinical enough in front of goal. "It's not going well but I think we've had enough chances in the matches to win two or three games," said the United States-born Jones. "But we're not playing well as a team. It's not the fault of the midfielders or strikers – we're just not converting the chances into goals and that's why we've drawn so many matches."
Kevin Kuranyi has become the latest name on an injury list already containing influential players such as Christian Pander and Halil Altıntop, while Fabian Ernst and Gerald Asamoah are also doubtful to face Chelsea, who beat Schalke 2-0 in London a fortnight ago. However, Jones is staying positive. "We try to get on with things," he said. "We train the same way we've always done and we've got faith in our medical staff – they've done well so far. There have been one or two minor niggles and they've managed to get the players fit in time, so it's not their fault."