Dutch striker Huntelaar backs new Schalke coach Breitenreiter

Andre Breitenreiter is unveiled as the newly appointed head coach of FC Schalke 04 at Veltins Arena.

Sascha Steinbach/Bongarts/Getty Images

Schalke forward Klaas-Jan Huntelaar hopes the club’s new coach Andre Breitenreiter will be given a fair chance and enough support to improve the club’s fortunes this season and beyond.

The former Paderborn coach was a surprise choice to replace Roberto Di Matteo this summer and Huntelaar hopes the Gelsenkirchen stand stoically behind that decision.

"Breitenreiter needs to be backed and given sufficient time to show what he can do," said the Dutch striker to Sport Bild magazine. "That would be good for Schalke."

Before Breitenreiter was appointed, the Royal Blues had got through six coaches in four years.

Following the parting of ways with Felix Magath, Seppo Eichkorn twice worked on a caretaker basis between the appointments of Ralf Rangnick and Huub Stevens, who was then replaced by Jens Keller and Di Matteo.

"A club must follow a clear line," Huntelaar said. "That’s the only way something can grow.

"The best examples are Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Those clubs have been following a clear philosophy for years.

"Or look at Borussia Monchengladbach with Lucien Favre, Wolfsburg with Dieter Hecking or, earlier, Werder Bremen with Thomas Schaaf. They are all perfect examples."

They are also fine examples of how the coach does not necessarily have to have a big name and reputation to be successful.


Favre had enjoyed some success in Switzerland before leading Hertha Berlin into Europe while Hecking had forged his reputation with Nurnberg and Hannover at comparatively smaller clubs before being given the Wolfsburg reins.

Schaaf had never coached before when he took charge at Bremen in 1999, leading them through one of the most successful decades in the club’s history.

"Having a name doesn’t mean everything," said Huntelaar. "We’ve had coaches with big names in the past and that hasn’t worked.

"What is important is that Breitenreiter is the boss and he has leadership qualities.

"My first impressions have convinced me and I’m sure it is going to work with him."

Huntelaar was on target as Schalke played out a 1-1 draw with Serie A side Udinese in Klagenfurt on Tuesday.