Luzern looking to in-form Juric ahead of crucial Europa League clash

Australia striker Tomi Juric is looking to provide the firepower to keep new club FC Luzern’s UEFA Europa League hopes alive in Italy against Sassuolo on Friday (AEST).

Tomi Juric

Tomi Juric converts a penalty for Luzern. Source: Luzern Facebook

Juric pounced with a full-debut double to help Luzern to a 4-3 Swiss Super League win over Grasshopper at the weekend, and is now looming as a key figure in piloting Markus Babbel’s men through to the main draw of the competition after a 1-1 deadlock in last week’s first leg in Switzerland.



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Having come off the bench in the home tie, Juric played 81 minutes against Grasshopper, scoring in each half to seal points as Luzern went second in the ladder after two rounds.

He has a glint in his eye heading to Italy, having proven his fitness to the club’s coaching staff, as well as underlining his potency in front of goal.

“It’s not every day you get play Europa League games for your club, and it’s one of the reasons I came here,” said Juric.

"It's exciting for the club … there's a lot of expectations against Sassuolo. We know it will be hard as they have the away goal but we are going there with full confidence.

“For me, scoring on my league debut it was good to get the monkey off the back with my first goals for the club.

"I can build on that slowly and steadily. I haven’t been rushing into anything … I've been working hard in the pre-season and I will only get fitter now and hopefully there will be a roll-on effect from here.

"My main aim against Grasshoppers was just to play well and get a lot of minutes under my belt and if I hadn’t scored I would still have been happy.

“Markus Babbel said to go out and enjoy myself and that’s what I tried to do. Once you get some wind in your back from your gaffer, it’s always easier to play with confidence"

Juric, whose main aim this season is to put niggling injuries behind him and amass a plethora of appearances at club and international level, praised Luzern's fitness gurus for getting him up to speed so soon after his arrival at the club.

“Coming in a bit later, I have some extra work to get up to seed with everyday else," he said.

“I have put in extra work and the coaching and medical staff have been doing a hell of job to keep me fit … and I have to thank them for that.

“Whatever I need, they have been there for me. It’s so far so good and let's wait and see where this takes me.”

Having spent a season with Roda JC in the Dutch Eredivisie, the former Western Sydney Wanderers striker is impressed with the level in Switzerland.

“It’s definitely not a bad league … there’s a lot of quality in the front third from teams and means you will see plenty of goals

“I think we’ll create a lot of chances and we can hit teams quickly on the counter. There are good teams like Basel and Young Boys. The league is pretty close, just 10 teams and it's an interesting competition.

“It’s all a new experience for me ... but from what I can tell there will be a lot of chances for us to do well this season.” 


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3 min read
Published 3 August 2016 at 12:00pm
By Dave Lewis