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Westermann walks tall with Schalke

Heiko Westermann says FC Schalke 04 "are not just here to make up the numbers" as the Bundesliga outfit prepare for a knockout stage debut against FC Porto.

German international Heiko Westermann insists that FC Schalke 04 "are not just here to make up the numbers" as the Bundesliga outfit prepare to make their knockout stage debut against 2004 UEFA Champions League winners FC Porto.

'Not satisfied yet'
"I'm very happy to have reached this stage of the competition but we're not satisfied yet," said the 24-year-old, one of three Schalke players to have played every minute of the Gelsenkirchen side's UEFA Champions League campaign to date. "There is lots of pressure on the team at the moment and we want to put the disappointment of Friday's loss to [VfL] Wolfsburg behind us by playing well against Porto."

Rapid rise
That 2-1 weekend defeat ended an impressive return to form for Mirko Slomka's men, although the consensus around the club is that it did not curtail their hopes of a first Bundesliga title in 50 years – with fifth-placed Schalke still within eight points of leaders FC Bayern München. A German championship medal would certainly seal what has been a breakthrough season for Westermann since he signed from DSC Arminia Bielefeld last summer. He quickly settled at the Arena AufSchalke, made his UEFA Champions League debut in September, and a fortnight ago won his first international cap as Germany swept Austria aside 3-0.

'We want to win'
Until the weekend they had been unbeaten since losing 1-0 at FC Energie Cottbus on 2 November, a run of eleven games in all competitions, but confident right-back Westermann believes there is still plenty of room for improvement. "We know what our mistakes have been of late and it's important that we don't fall behind against Porto," he said. "We want to prove to people that we're not just here to make up the numbers – we want to win and progress to the quarter-finals."