Jakupovic focused on promotion as World Cup hopes take back seat
14:49 25 February 2014
2 BURNHAM RD CHINGFORD LONDON E4 8PE
As the chant of “Bosnia’s number one” rang out around Brisbane Road on Saturday, it became clear loan goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic has quickly become a firm fans’ favourite at Orient.
While Stoke City stopper Asmir Begovic may have something to say about that particular sentiment, Jakupovic has not given up on his World Cup dream.
But for now, the 29-year-old is concentrating on leading the O’s to the Championship.
“Whether I go to the World Cup isn’t up to me. I’ll do my best and if they call me they call me,” said the Hull loanee.
Eldin Jakupovic: “I’m happy to be back and we’re all very happy we’ve taken seven points from these last three games.
“If not, there’s nothing I can do about it. I have to concentrate on Orient and my first objective is to put them in the Championship.”
Jakupovic has conceded only two goals in seven games during his spell with the O’s – and one of those was from the penalty spot.
His final game for the club is due to be the crunch clash with Wolves on Easter Monday, when his 93-day loan ends, and he hopes their fate has already been decided by then.
The goalkeeper said: “I have 11 more games with the team and I hope by then we’ll know where we stand, whether we’re up automatically or if it’s the play-offs.
“I know the play-offs are always difficult and I want to help the team get as many points as possible.”
Jakupovic has recent exeperience of being part of a promotion winning squad.
He made five Championship appearances for the Tigers last season as they clinched second spot on a gripping season finale.
While the stopper is confident his team-mates have what it takes to clinch promotion, he admits frustration at being recalled by Hull after first choice goalkeeper Allan McGregor was sent off for violent conduct against Crystal Palace.
“It was frustrating to go back after the Coventry game,” he added.
“The situation with McGregor happened and there was nothing I could do about it.
“Steve Bruce called me back but I’m here agains now and I’m really enjoying it.”
Could Orient fans see him back at the club next season? He hasn’t ruled it out.
Jakupovic said: “My contract with Hull finishes in the summer so I don’t know what’s going to happen.
“We’ll see at the end of the season.”
Hull can still recall Jakupovic at 24 hours notice. O’s manager Russell Slade will be hoping McGregor keeps his hands to himself.