Fahrmann bemused by Breitenreiter criticism

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Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann was surprised to read recent media reports suggesting head coach Andre Breitenreiter was close to losing his job.

Fahrmann, who has played every minute of every league match so far this season under Breitenreiter, revealed that the coach has the full backing of the squad.

"We sat down together and didn't know whether to laugh or cry," he told the official Schalke website.

"This whole thing has come out of the blue. I talk with many players and I haven't heard any sort of criticism of the coach in recent days or weeks, so that's why I was totally gobsmacked.

"The door to the coach's office is always open. We have not had such a communicative coach as Andre Breitenreiter at Schalke for a long time."

The club are currently sixth on the Bundesliga table, but only two points behind Gladbach in fourth, and Fahrmann lamented the negative effect rumours about the coach could have on their Champions League qualification ambitions.

"It is definitely not conducive to the development of the team and to the development of individual players when people begin to question everything straight after we lose a match," the shot stopper explained.

"When you compare last season with this one, we have improved in many areas: We are creating more chances, we are winning more challenges and we are running more.

"At the moment we are just lacking the goals. We are not doing ourselves justice yet. If we had won last time out then we'd all be celebrating in each other's arms, but we lost and now it's apparently worse than ever? That can't happen."