Smells like team spirit
"It was perfect," Huntelaar affirmed after winning the penalty that Geis coolly converted, before doubling the lead himself with a trademark poacher's finish. "It’s not that long since I scored - it was against Dortmund - but I’m always focussed on my job. I work hard for the team and the rest just follows. We were the better side."
A seventh Bundesliga win of the campaign was indeed the least Schalke deserved after dominating proceedings from the get-go at the VELTINS Arena. Although Hannover’s Allan Saint-Maximin managed to halve the deficit, it took Franco Di Santo just 60 seconds to restore Die Knappen’s two-goal advantage and rubber-stamp an encouraging team display.
"If we hadn’t have won, we’d have gradually started to lose that connection," admitted Geis, back pulling the strings following a five-match ban. "The pressure was on. It’s always on when you haven’t won in five matches, but we sensed togetherness from the fans and within the team. The three points are what matter most, but it's always nice when you contribute to the win with a goal."
Confidence breeds results
Back up to fourth in the standings - temporarily at least - Schalke will travel to Augsburg next weekend with renewed confidence, but not before taking on Asteras Tripolis in the UEFA Europa League. Andre Breitenreiter’s side are already assured of their place in the last 32, although they need a win to guarantee top spot in Group K.
"It’s not easy playing Tripolis, especially in front of their own fans," Geis warned. "Whoever plays, we have to win. We need to go on a run. If we win on Thursday, that’d be two wins in a row and that’s be great for our confidence […] It won’t be easy in Tripolis or at Augsburg, but our objective has to be to end the year on a high. If we finish with maximum points, we can all be happy."
Huntelaar echoed his team-mate’s sentiments, adding: "We didn’t play badly against Leverkusen [last week], but we always have to play with self-belief whether we're winning or losing. We can go into our last games of the year with our heads held high. If we do that, we’ll score goals and win games."