Positive Jol looking to beat 'the best'
Monday, November 22, 2010
Martin Jol described Real Madrid CF coach José Mourinho as "the best in his line of work" but promised AFC Ajax would take a positive approach as they seek maximum points.
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Martin Jol will take a positive approach as he sends his AFC Ajax team out to seek victory against Real Madrid CF but he is wary of the man he describes as "the best" – José Mourinho. Mourinho's team are already through from UEFA Champions League Group G but the Portuguese wants first place though he understands it will not be easy against an Ajax who will be fired up for a match they must win to keep the pressure on second-placed AC Milan.
Martin Jol, Ajax coach
We always play to win. Doing that we sometimes give away a lot of space, and then the other side can also win. In the midfield we often play with Demy [de Zeeuw] and Siem [de Jong] who are also attacking players. We have two goals. One is to continue our stay in Europe and the other is to try to finish as high as possible in this group.
[Mourinho] might be without [three] players, but otherwise he will just play with the strongest team. In England I faced him five or six times and I also met him a couple of times at meetings we had with all the coaches in England. He often has his team play the same way. You also see he always has his stars playing. Now he has had to change a bit, but it does not really matter if [Gonzalo] Higuaín and [Sami] Khedira are replaced by others. Mourinho is a big coach, a hugely skilled craftsman who from the start of his career has got the maximum out of his teams and has proven that in his line of work he probably is the best.
José Mourinho, Madrid coach
"Three players cannot play [Ricardo Carvalho in addition to Higuaín and Khedira] who have played almost every match so far but we want to win and continue our story in this Champions League. We want to go for first place. I have confidence in my players and that there will be a good team tomorrow. I want to change as little as possible, I want to build a team and therefore you need stability. We will do all we can to win and not to lose, and if we manage less than a win it will only be because Ajax will be in top shape tomorrow.
"There is a lot at stake for Ajax tomorrow. They have two more matches that will decide if they continue or not, so they will give everything for that. For us it is important to maintain our top level to be able to resist Ajax."
Urby Emanuelson is a doubt after complaining about ankle pain following the weekend game with PSV Eindhoven, a match Oleguer missed with a hamstring problem and he too may not return. Florian Jozefzoon is out with a knee injury while Evander Sno trained on Monday though it is not known if he will return to the squad for the first time since suffering heart problems on 13 September. Luis Suárez is available despite a two-game Eredivisie ban imposed by Ajax for biting PSV's Otman Bakkal.
Carvalho (bruised thigh), Higuaín (back) and Khedira (hamstring) have been ruled out of the Ajax game after the weekend fixture against Athletic Club. Lassana Diarra (groin) made a second successive substitute appearance in the same game.
20/11/10 Ajax 0-0 PSV Eindhoven
Rasmus Lindgren was dismissed in added time as Jol's team failed to score for the third successive Eredivisie match, the first time they have done so since October/November 2005 when they went four games without a goal.
20/11/10 Madrid 5-1 Athletic Club
(Higuaín 19, Ronaldo 30 62 90+2pen, Ramos 57pen; Llorente 40)
Victory against Athletic was the 250th Liga win of Iker Casillas's career. Madrid have scored 27 goals in their last seven Liga outings, having mustered only six in their opening five. Cristiano Ronaldo has struck 17 goals in his last 14 games for club and country.
Did you know?
Mourinho faced Jol in seven London derbies during their respective reigns at Chelsea FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC from 2004 to 2007. Mourinho recorded five wins to Jol's one.
See the match background for more information.