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Jurčić bids to stop Dinamo rot in Zagreb

"This season's statistics are not a fair reflection of Dinamo Zagreb's quality," says Krunoslav Jurčić whose new side meet FC Dynamo Kyiv looking to avoid a 12th straight group stage loss.

Krunoslav Jurčić wants to lift spirits at Dinamo Zagreb
Krunoslav Jurčić wants to lift spirits at Dinamo Zagreb ©Getty Images

New coach Krunoslav Jurčić promised that his GNK Dinamo Zagreb side would do everything to avoid equalling RSC Anderlecht's unenvied record of 12 straight UEFA Champions League group stage defeats when FC Dynamo Kyiv come calling in Group A, looking to bring back a gift for their stricken coach Oleh Blokhin.

Dynamo will transfer to the UEFA Europa League.

Dinamo are out of Europe.

Dinamo Zagreb
Krunoslav Jurčić, coach
We all know what we are up against. We need to put on a good show and I can guarantee that my boys will give their absolute maximum to win against Dynamo Kyiv. I have enough information about our opponents. We have maximum respect for them and we all know their high European standing, but we need to achieve our goal, our dream, and start winning points in the Champions League. Our aim is to cut out the inconsistencies for this match. Since I took over last week, I have not been thinking about negatives – I am only interesting in positive things. That's the way to achieve something good.

We need to score goals if we want points. The tactics I am working on will put pressure on Dynamo Kyiv. They have exceptional professionals and I don't expect them to come here for a holiday. This season's statistics are not a fair reflection of Dinamo Zagreb's quality. We will try to prove that tomorrow. We are playing for our honour.

Weekend result
Friday: Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 NK Lokomotiva Zagreb (Čop 20)
Kelava; Vrsaljko, Vida, Šimunić, Ibáñez (Pivarić 69); Ademi, Brozović (Alispahić 83), Beqiraj (Halilović 90), Sammir, Kovačić; Čop.

• Jurčić, appointed Dinamo coach on 26 November after Ante Čačić was sacked, made a winning start to his third spell in charge. It was only their second win in six games, the other four ending in defeat with the Prva Liga champions failing to score.

Team news
The only absentee is right midfielder Ivan Peko, who is recovering from a long-term hamstring injury. The team had two practice sessions over the weekend, and one more on Monday.

Dynamo Kyiv
Oleksiy Mykhailychenko, assistant coach
Of course, we will take this last match seriously, even though everything is already settled in our group. Even Barcelona wouldn't relax for a Champions League match. In this competition, every match is important and every player will be focused. Every match in the Champions League is important for us, for our coefficient and reputation.

I did not meet up with coach Oleg Blokhin [who misses the game due to ill health] before this trip, but he told me to bring him back a souvenir from Zagreb. Of course, he agreed that our goal is to play good football and to get a good result against Dinamo Zagreb, because the Champions League is a prestigious competition and it's very important for every club. After our last league match before the winter break, we turned our attention to the players' rehabilitation, and most of them had lots of massages and saunas to get ready for this match.

Weekend result
Friday: FC Hoverla Uzhgorod 2-4 Dynamo Kyiv (Balafas 12, Raičević 61; Haruna 14, Ideye 18, Dudu 45+2, Yarmolenko 72)
Koval; Gusev (Bogdanov 26), Mikhalik, Betão, Taiwo; Yarmolenko, Garmash, Haruna (Vukojević 68), Veloso, Dudu (Mehmedi 89); Ideye.

• Lukman Haruna scored his first goal for the club as Dynamo's last domestic game of 2012 ended with only their second win victory from nine away matches, meaning they go into the winter break third in the Ukrainian Premier League. Andriy Bogdanov was sent off for the first time in his career late on as both teams ended the game with ten men.

Team news
Midfielder Oleh Gusev went off after just 26 minutes on Saturday, but Mykhailychenko has more positive news on forward Raffael and midfielder Serhiy Rybalka who are both "back in the team".

Match fact
• Dinamo lost all six group games last season, conceding 22 goals – a UEFA Champions League group stage record – but scored three times; this time round they are still waiting for their first goal. Only RC Deportivo La Coruña (2004/05) and Maccabi Haifa FC (2009/10) have failed to find the net in a group stage.