Berlin: Schalke 04 confirmed on Sunday that coach Jens Keller will remain in charge of the Royal Blues going into 2014, despite a string of erratic results.
“All topics have been discussed constructively and openly with a clear analysis of what must be improved,” the club said in a statement.
“All this Jens Keller and his coaching team will work on when the preparations for the second part of the season begin on January 3.”
The 43-year-old Keller was forced to watch Saturday’s goalless draw at Nuremberg on television at home after being laid low by a stomach virus.
The result left Schalke seventh in the table — 16 points behind leaders Bayern Munich — after suffering five league defeats in the first half of the season.
Although Keller has earned a reprieve from Schalke’s advisory board, only improved results after the winter break, which started on Sunday, will safeguard his future. Although they have already been knocked out of the German Cup, Schalke have reached the last 16 of the Champions League, where they will meet Real Madrid.
Having taken charge in December 2012, the 43-year-old Keller has fallen some way short of the club’s pre-season target of challenging for the league title.
“Overall, it’s been a turbulent half a year,” Schalke’s director of sport Horst Heldt told Sky Sports.
“There have been situations that we’ve not been so happy with.”
But while Keller, who is under contract until June 2015, can breath a little easier, there is no such peace of mind for Hanover’s Mirko Slomka over the festive period.
Hanover, 13th, are already ten points off a targeted top six spot to claim a European place next season after suffering their eighth-straight away defeat on Saturday.
Slomka, 46, faces an uncertain start to 2014, knowing his future is being discussed behind closed doors.
Having taken charge in January 2010, Slomka’s position has been undermined by poor results, including Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at strugglers Freiburg to leave them with just one win in their last 10 games.
“Christmas is the hardest time to make a decision like this,” Hanover’s director of sport Dirf Dufner told broadcaster Sport1.
“We will have more talks over the next few days.”