ZAGREB - Real Madrid coach Jose
Mourinho's touchline ban could put "wind in the sails" of
Wednesday's Champions League opponents Dinamo Zagreb, according
to the Croatian team's coach.
"Mourinho's absence could make a difference because he has a
huge influence on the team and takes an active part in the game
with his game plan and instructions," Kruno Jurcic told a news
conference on the eve of the Group D tie.
"He is a leader and leaders are hard to replace so his
exclusion might put some wind into our sails. This is the kind
of game every coach lives for."
Mourinho is serving a three-match touchline ban for
misconduct in the first leg of last season's semi-final clash
with Barcelona who beat Real 3-1 on aggregate before going on to
lift the trophy.
Dinamo are back in the competition for the first time since
1999-2000 and Jurcic is confident they can upset the nine-times
European champions in front of a passionate home crowd at
"What we have to do is bring Real Madrid down to our level
in order to spring a surprise," said the coach. "We can't throw
caution to the wind and beat them at their own game.
"We have plenty of skilful players who can keep possession
and if we can frustrate them with our passing we've got a good
chance with our 40,000 fans behind us.
"It would be against all my coaching principles to think
about anything other than victory and my players will be
thinking how to outfox Real Madrid rather than what rival to
swap jerseys with after the final whistle," Jurcic added.
Jurcic, who played for Dinamo (then called Croatia Zagreb)
when they featured in the group stages in 1999/2000, said Real's
La Liga rivals Getafe showed his team the way to play against
"Getafe lost 4-2 [on Saturday] but they had a real go at
Real and had it not been for what I think was a controversial
penalty they might have come away with something from the
Bernabeu," he explained.
"I don't need to motivate my players for a game like this,
they can't wait for the kickoff and all I can tell them is to go
out there and enjoy themselves."
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