Frankfurt - Having salvaged a last-gasp draw after letting a two-goal lead slip from their grasp in Saturday's enthralling six-goal affair at Eintracht Frankfurt, many at FC Schalke 04 were left to wonder whether it was a point gained or two points lost.
Deja-vu experience for Uchida
"I’ve got to compliment the team on their morale. We didn’t give up after falling behind and earned our third goal," said S04 head coach Jens Keller, while midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng felt "it was an outstanding match for the fans, with six goals, but for us it wasn’t enough after leading 2-0" - an opinion shared by right-back Atsuto Uchida: "It's just a shame we didn't manage to win."
The 25-year-old rued the many chances Schalke had missed at the Commerzbank Arena, and told bundesliga.com afterwards it was not the first time the Gelsenkirchen-based club had been finding it difficult turning good performances into tangible reward. "We've had several such games during the first half of the season," said Uchida. "We just have to keep playing and show how strong we are."
With big challenges coming up in the UEFA Champions League, Bundesliga and DFB Cup, however, Uchida, who joined the Royal Blues from Japanese club Kashima Antlers in the summer of 2010, believes Keller's men will waste little time when it comes to making up for Saturday's setback: "There aren't any international breaks, and we have plenty of games that we need to be winning."
Sights set on Champions League
Their first chance presents itself on the European circuit on Tuesday evening, when Keller's charges face Romanian side FC Steaua Bucuresti in Champions League Group E. "It's another competition altogether," Uchida explained. "Steaua are strong, but it will be important for us to get something away from home."
Should they succeed, Schalke could even join Bundesliga leaders and defending European champions FC Bayern München in the last 16 of Europe's premier club competition with a game to spare.