Christian Gross has accepted the challenge of saving Schalke from relegation from the Bundesliga. - © getty images
Christian Gross has accepted the challenge of saving Schalke from relegation from the Bundesliga. - © getty images
bundesliga

Christian Gross appointed new Schalke coach

Schalke have named Christian Gross as their new head coach on a short-term deal until the end of the 2020/21 campaign.

Gross arrives in Gelsenkirchen to join a club rock bottom of the Bundesliga, without a win from their first 13 games of the season and winless in 29 in the league dating back to January 2020.

"For Schalke 04, the next five months will be all about managing to stay in the Bundesliga," sporting director Jochen Schneider told the Schalke website. "Christian Gross has shown in both Germany and England that he can successfully take on challenges like this. He will give the team clear instructions and will set us on the right path with his unwavering expectations. We are sure of that."

Gross, who spent a spell at Schalke's Ruhr rivals VfL Bochum during his playing days, has been out of work since February, when his third stint in charge of Saudi Arabian club Al-Ahli came to an end.

He previously led Grasshopper Zürich to two Swiss Super League titles, earning him a move to Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League. He then returned to Switzerland and won the Swiss top flight four more times in charge of Basel, before spending less than a year at the helm of Bundesliga club VfB Stuttgart in 2009.

His first game as Schalke coach will be at Hertha Berlin on 2 January.

"We have to be goal-oriented and work towards result," Gross explained. "I want to feel the players' enthusiasm at all times. We need to have a good atmosphere in and around the team to be successful again. I will give everything so that we can accomplish our goals together."

Groß has spent the last six years of his coaching career in the Middle East. - GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images

Gross is Schalke's fourth coach of a turbulent season. David Wagner was replaced by Manuel Baum at the end of September, before club legend Huub Stevens stepped in for the club's final two competitive outings of 2020 following Baum's dismissal.