Tuesday 22 May 2018

Jokanovic is chasing the dream

Maccabi Tel Aviv coach Slavisa Jokanovic
Maccabi Tel Aviv coach Slavisa Jokanovic

Maccabi Tel Aviv boss Slavisa Jokanovic (right) is chasing his own Hollywood ending by beating Chelsea in Champions League Group G tonight.

Blues boss Jose Mourinho described Chelsea's chances of retaining the Premier League title as Mission Impossible, which starred Tom Cruise.

Jokanovic, the former Chelsea midfielder and ex-Watford boss, is eager to be a leading man and claim the two wins which could see Maccabi's European campaign continue into 2016.

The Israeli side have one point from four games and need six more to have any hope of reaching the Europa League ahead of either Dynamo Kiev or Chelsea, who are battling to qualify for the Champions League last 16 with Porto.

"If Jose Mourinho doesn't want to be Tom Cruise, I prefer to try to be," Jokanovic said.

"It's complicated for him, it's complicated for me. It's a different target.

"We have in front of us two games and we want six points if we have the opportunity for playing next spring in the Europa League."

Maccabi have lost their previous two home games at Haifa's Sammy Ofer Stadium - an arena more suitable for European football than their usual home - and has called for his side's best performance of the season.

"I expect we're going to find our best performance," Jokanovic said.

"We conceded 11 goals and scored only one. We need to be more solid in defence, be more competitive in midfield and be more dangerous in the last third. It's simple.

"For us it's important to try to find a way for three points."

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