Hanke wants to play
By Chris Ives
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Schalke striker Mike Hanke has urged coach Ralf Rangnick to play him.German Under-21 striker Mike Hanke has advised Schalke coach Ralf Rangnick not to sign Stuttgart striker Kevin Kuranyi, but hand himself a regular place up front.
The talented youngster has been a hopeful reserve at the Royal Blues for most of the past three years, but given his double strike in the 4-1 thrashing of Nurnberg on Saturday, Hanke feels it is time to demand a place in the starting formation.
"Schalke don't need to sign Kuranyi, if they have a Mike Hanke. I think that next year I'll be on the same level that he is," said Hanke.
The 21-year-old only got a chance to prove his class because Danish veteran Ebbe Sand had to go off with a broken nose.
Rangnick has preferred to partner Brazilian marksman Ailton with Sand and German international Gerald Asamoah, handing Hanke only limited match action each week.
"For weeks I am demanding a starting place and once in a while I believe that the coach will understand," said Hanke.
The two have had a troubled season since the coach replaced Jupp Heynckes last summer and it remains to be seen if the player's harsh words will have the desired effect or prove counter-productive in the end.