The aftermath of Saturday's 5-0 loss to Kaiserslautern has gone from bad to worse for a trio of Schalke players. After opting to cut his team's winter break to just four days, coach Felix Magath has now demoted trio Jermaine Jones, Hans Sarpei and Alexander Baumjohann to the reserves.
"For Jones, it is due to his performance in the 5-0 loss, while Sarpei and Baumjohann did not show enough in training," Magath told reporters.
By contrast, Magath will soon have new options to choose from as long-term absentees Christian Pander and Levan Kenia have recovered from injuries and resumed training. Both are still well short of match fitness, but will hope to earn playing time before the mid-season break.
Known for ruling with an iron fist, Magath has struggled to consistently get the best out of a Schalke squad that has been markedly changed since last year. Over the last 10 days, die Koenigsblauen earned successive 4-0 and 3-0 victories over Bremen and Lyon respectively, but found their momentum come to a full stop in their most recent collapse against Kaiserslautern, which left Magath's men 15th in the Bundesliga standings.