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Yakin has eyes on final

Basle head coach Murat Yakin is unfazed by facing Chelsea and has urged his players to achieve more success.

Last Updated: 24/04/13 at 18:40 Post Comment   

Murat Yakin: Believes a place in the final is possible

Murat Yakin: Believes a place in the final is possible

Basle head coach Murat Yakin is unfazed by facing Chelsea and has urged his players to achieve more in their remarkable Europa League campaign.

The former Switzerland international took charge in October with Basle struggling, but has masterminded a renaissance which sees his side tackling last season's Champions League winners in the Europa League semi-finals, having overcome Tottenham in the quarter-finals.

Now the target is the May 15 Amsterdam final.

Yakin said: "I'm not a dreamer, I'm not dreaming. I'm very realistic. We're talking about reaching the final here.

"When I started we were in the very last spot in our group.

"From there I presented my vision that I had to the team and the vision that I had to maybe reach the final even in Amsterdam.

"The team grew in this competition, showed great performances, at home especially. It sets up a good advantage for the second leg then.

"We need one great game and maybe one okay game to maybe even make it to the final.

"It's a semi-final tomorrow. They can even achieve more."

The Swiss champions have beaten Dnipro, Liverpool's conquerors Zenit St Petersburg and Spurs in the knockout rounds and now have Chelsea in their sights.

Yakin refused to compare Chelsea with their London rivals Spurs, who lost out on penalties, preferring to focus on his own side.

"I don't want to make any comparisons," he said.

"The match against Tottenham is over, now we'll have to face Chelsea.

"I think we gained respect with qualifying and getting so far into the semi-finals.

"We will need a little bit of luck if we want to achieve a good result tomorrow.

"We've proved in this competition, in the round of 32, last 16, that we can show some great performances.

"We have very positive results that we've achieved against English teams so far and we want to continue this run."

Many of those performances have come at St Jakob Park.

The Swiss side have not lost in six matches at home so far in the competition, scoring an average of two goals.

"We want to stay unbeaten at home," Yakin added.

"We've shown through the whole campaign that we are very strong at home."

Basle have attracted admirers for their style of play and Yakin's intention is to continue in a similar vein in the first leg.

"We will try and we will see how the start goes," he said.

"We have still nothing to lose. I just want to see my team play encouraging football.

"We will try to dominate here at home. We showed the same against Dnipro and Zenit also.

"Tottenham was the highlight. Over this time it's improved and we're fully confident."


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