Schalke boss Jens Keller rues his side's 'wasted chance' after defeat to Frankfurt
Schalke coach Jens Keller admitted his side only had themselves to blame for their 1-0 defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt.
Last Updated: 21/04/13 2:11pm
Schalke coach Jens Keller admitted his side only had themselves to blame for Saturday's 1-0 Bundesliga defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt, which compromised the Royal Blues' chances of qualifying for the Champions League next season.
The Gelsenkirchen outfit will drop to fifth in the table if Freiburg beat Stuttgart on Sunday, and Keller acknowledged his team were too wasteful in Frankfurt.
"We started well and had plenty of chances in a good first 20 minutes, but we just forgot to make it 1-0," he said.
"Then we missed the penalty and took ourselves out of the game with stupid fouls, giving them free-kicks from which they were able to get more self-confidence.
"For the last 70 minutes, my team was no longer ready to run and make things tight."
Defender Marco Russ and 38-year-old goalkeeper Oka Nikolov were Frankfurt's heroes at the Waldstadion, the former netting the 41st-minute winner and the latter saving a Michel Bastos penalty en route to a priceless clean sheet.
All is not lost for Schalke, though, and Keller remained confident his side will be able to hold off the competition to finish fourth.
"We have wasted a huge chance to consolidate fourth place, but we are still there and now have to do everything to defend it," he added on his club's website.
Frankfurt coach Armin Veh shared Keller's view and saw the penalty save as the turning point in the game.
"Our oldie (Nikolov) saved the penalty and that sparked us into life," he said.
"We then showed passion and were rewarded. Normally we shouldn't be able to cope without the four players we were lacking today, but fortunately we managed it."