Schalke keep faith in Heldt

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The former Stuttgart director of sport enjoys the full faith of the Gelsenkirchen outfit, whom he joined in 2010, and is expected to remain with the club in the long term – even if they fail to qualify for the Champions League next season.

“Horst Heldt has a cast-iron place here – there’s no question about it,” Schalke chairman Clemens Tonnies said.

“There’s absolutely nothing to suggest we won’t extend his contract. We’re a good team.”

And Heldt would have no hesitation about extending his deal with the Royal Blues.

“Of course I can imagine still working with Schalke beyond 2016,” he said. “We’ve developed and moved forward and I’m not basing my future on titles.”

Schalke face an uphill struggle to make it a hat-trick of qualifications for the Champions League, with last weekend’s 1-0 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen leaving them six points adrift of the top four with eight games of the campaign remaining.

They did beat Real Madrid 4-3 away in the last round of the current Champions League campaign, but a 2-0 defeat at home saw them eliminated on aggregate at the last-16 stage.