Hecking confident of facing in-form Schalke

Nuremberg coach Dieter Hecking is undaunted by the size of his side's task against Schalke, despite picking up only one point from their last five games.

A tribute to the head coach.

A 0-0 draw with Augsburg last weekend halted a streak of four consecutive defeats while their opponents come into the game buoyed not only by victory in Dortmund a week ago, but also by a 2-0 win at Arsenal on Wednesday.

Those contrasting fortunes do not mean that Nuremberg must accept defeat already, though.

"It is not as if our opponents have a crisis of results," said Hecking.

"It is clearly a difficult challenge and Schalke are overwhelming favourites, but we will make as good an impression of ourselves as possible.

"We want to try to get something out of it. That is possible if we show our strengths for the entire game."

Hecking has a problem in goal since his three best goalkeepers are all out injured, meaning youth team custodian Patrick Rakovsky will make his Bundesliga debut against his former side.

"It is probably the biggest game of Patrick's career so far," said Hecking at a press conference.

"But he enjoys our full faith and Patrick and the whole team are looking forward to this game."

Schalke's director of sport Horst Heldt has warned his team not to take Nuremberg lightly in the wake of two of the best results in the club's recent history.

"Many people will think that, after wins in Dortmund and Arsenal, we can beat them with our eyes shut," he said.

His players appear to have registered the warning with striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar saying: "We want to show what we are capable of against Nuremberg.

"Otherwise, the win against Dortmund is worthless," he added.



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