Istanbul - ' 45th-minute strike in Schalke 04's UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first-leg fixture against Galatasaray AS may have given the Royal Blues a promising position from which to progress, but the evening nonetheless left the industrious midfielder with a sour taste.

The 31-year-old's first-half booking was his third in the tournament this term and he will consequently miss the return game on 12 March in Gelsenkirchen. "I'm happy to have helped the team," the 27-time USA international explained afterwards, but admitted "it's a bit of a downer to be suspended. I asked for [Selcuk] Inan to be booked, then got the booking myself. It was just stupid."

Jones: "Team can handle the pressure"


While the 1-1 draw in Istanbul took Schalke's winless streak to five competitive games, Jones felt there were plenty of positives to be taken from the match in the Turkish metropolis. "The team proved they can handle the pressure of the Champions League, despite the aggressive atmosphere," he said.

Team-mate Michel Bastos believes the side's convincing performance could well be a turning point in the club's domestic efforts too, where a solitary win from their last eleven outings has plummeted the side down to ninth in the standings. "I very much hope this result will have a positive effect for the Bundesliga, we really need a win there," the 10-time Brazil international told bundesliga.com after only his fourth appearance for the club since joining in the winter.

Missed opportunities


As promising as Wednesday's result against Galatasaray was, Bastos felt Schalke should have taken more from encounter. "We could've hit another one had we been a little more decisive in front of goal," the 29-year-old said. While the away goal swung the balance of the tie marginally in Schalke's favour, The midfielder felt chances of progression to the last eight in Europe's elite competition were "50-50. Only the best teams participate in the Champions League and there are no favourites in the knock-out stages".

Bastos also lamented the poor pitch conditions as a contributing factor in Schalke's inability to return home with an even better result, with Jens Keller's men struggling to find the net when well-placed to do so on the counter. "I hope we'll be rewarded for venturing forward in the return leg," he concluded.