Jol lauds 'craftsman' Mourinho

BY foxsports • November 22, 2010

Jol and Mourinho were adversaries in London when they managed Tottenham and Chelsea respectively and the Dutchman admits he is relishing the chance to pit himself against the Portuguese in the Group G encounter at the ArenA. "Mourinho is a great coach and a true craftsman," he said. "I have come up against him five or six times. He gets the most out of his team and has proved he is the best in his field." Madrid have already qualified for the knockout phase and a point for the visitors would secure them top spot in the pool. The stakes are higher for Ajax as they currently lie in third place, just a point behind AC Milan with two games remaining. Jol's side have been inconsistent in domestic competition recently but goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg is adamant the players should not get bogged down by their form against the Primera Division high-flyers. "We must enjoy playing this kind of game," he said before admitting Ajax were poor in the reverse fixture at the Bernabeu which Madrid won 2-0. "In Madrid we did not play. It is clear we should have done better." Ajax will have striker Luis Suarez available despite the club imposing a two-match ban on the Uruguay international after deeming him guilty of biting PSV Eindhoven's Otman Bakkal in Saturday's goalless draw. The ban will only apply domestically, however, meaning he will miss the Eredivisie fixtures against VVV-Venlo and NEC Nijmegen. Madrid have left out several players carrying slight knocks to ensure they are ready for next Monday's top-of-the-table clash with Barcelona at the Nou Camp. Gonzalo Higuain, Sami Khedira and Ricardo Carvalho will all remain in the Spanish capital with Mourinho calling up Sergio Canales and David Mateos as well as youth-team regular Alvaro Morata. Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas is hoping 2011 will be the year when Madrid finally get past the quarter-finals, the club having fallen at that stage in each of the last six seasons. He told UEFA's website: "It has stuck in our heads like a little trauma, but this has happened to the players - me more than anyone - who have been here a few years. "I've experienced and suffered this situation but the new, young players have their own experiences with previous clubs, so it's not necessarily something the squad as a whole think about. "It's more the club which has suffered this setback in the last six years."


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