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Jovanović aims high with APOEL after Wisła win

Published: Tuesday 23 August 2011, 23.55CET
Coach Ivan Jovanović promised his APOEL FC side will not be going back into the group stage "just to have fun" after completing a 3-2 aggregate play-off success against Wisła Kraków.
Jovanović aims high with APOEL after Wisła win
APOEL's William Boaventura rises to challenge Wisła's Tsvetan Genkov ©Getty Images
Published: Tuesday 23 August 2011, 23.55CET

Jovanović aims high with APOEL after Wisła win

Coach Ivan Jovanović promised his APOEL FC side will not be going back into the group stage "just to have fun" after completing a 3-2 aggregate play-off success against Wisła Kraków.

APOEL FC have a point to prove after booking a return to the UEFA Champions League group stage with a 3-1 home victory against Wisła Kraków. Ivan Jovanović's side overturned a 1-0 first leg deficit when Aílton made it 2-0 on the night, but all seemed to be lost when Cezary Wilk put Wisła ahead on away goals 19 minutes from time. However, Aílton struck again to put the Cypriot side through, and there were tears in the Wisła dressing room after the final whistle.

This is a great day for our club which is why I am so emotional. In 2009, we headed into the unknown; we didn't know what was in store for us
Ivan Jovanović
My players are crying in the dressing room because they know we were so close to realising Wisła's dream. We didn't exist in the first half
Robert Maaskant

Ivan Jovanović, APOEL coach
The players really wanted it and we have shown that our qualification for the group stage two years ago was no fluke. This is a great day for our club which is why I am so emotional. In 2009, we headed into the unknown; we didn't know what was in store for us. Now we do, which was why we wanted to return to this competition.

Every game we face in the group will be a new challenge for us. It is a big test for us to be in the group stage this year, as opposed to the last time. We have targets and we won't be going there just to have fun. We face six difficult games and six chances to showcase what we can do in European football.

Robert Maaskant, Wisła coach
My players are crying in the dressing room because they know we were so close to realising Wisła's dream. We didn't exist in the first half, but then we played better. Unfortunately, APOEL were the better side on the night and we will be playing in the Europa League. There will be no problem with motivating my players as the Europa League is a great competition too, but of course our dream was to play in the Champions League.

Cezary Wilk, Wisła goalscorer
My goal was not so bad. We were so close; four minutes away from the Champions League. But APOEL were better than us. We got exhausted defending APOEL attacks. They can play good football. Having the ball doesn't disturb them; they know what to do with it. Could we have done more? I saw our players in the dressing room and I am pretty sure everybody gave 100%. Unfortunately, that was not enough this time.

Last updated: 25/08/11 1.02CET

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