Schalke head coach Domenico Tedesco: “Bayern Munich’s Jupp Heynckes is a role model for me”
The Royal Blues’ last Bundesliga win in Munich came almost a decade ago, when Halil Altintop toppled the record champions. High-flying Schalke and confident young coach Tedesco are travelling south on Saturday with a long-awaited repeat performance in mind.
Watch: Highlights of Bayern’s visit to Schalke earlier this season!
“We’re going there to get three points,” Tedesco told media at his pre-match press conference on Friday. “Otherwise we might as well stay in Gelsenkirchen and lay in bed.”
It will be the second time Tedesco has faced Bayern, but his first trip to the Allianz Arena as a coach and possibly his first and last meeting with Jupp Heynckes. With the 72-year-old due to head into retirement once again at the end of the season, the Schalke coach, 40 years his junior, is excited to face a major career influence.
“He’s someone I look up to,” the Schalke coach said. “He is a role model for me, and a great coach, who has great approach and communicates well with his team.”
The former Erzgebirge Aue coach has shown no lack of confidence in his first season with Schalke, forging a fluid and flexible squad pushing hard for a top-four finish. The Italian-born coach spoke of his tactical ideas in heading to the home of the current Bundesliga champions.
“We are still the team with the fifth or sixth highest ball possession share and we want to keep playing that way,” explained Tedesco. “Even if that’s difficult, because they press smart and high and deliver well. They try to close the gaps in small diamonds and to force you to play too many long balls.
“They have very clear processes and play mostly in 4-3-3 or 4-1-4-1,” Tedesco continued. “They always find solutions because they are highly intelligent. Bayern want to crush you, we have to be clever if we’re to breathe.”
With a win in Munich almost a decade in the making for Schalke, the maiden campaign of Tedesco with the Royal Blues would reach a new level should they indeed return home with three points. And they would most certainly be able to sleep well in Gelsenkrichen should history be made on Saturday evening.