Steaua v Ajax preview
Wed, 20 Feb 2013 22:30:00
Steaua Bucharest coach Laurentiu Reghecampf sees no reason why his side cannot overturn a two-goal deficit against Ajax in the second leg of their Europa League clash on Thursday.
The Romanian side need to win by three clear goals to book their passage in the last 16 of the competition after goals by Toby Alderweireld and Ricardo Van Rhijn gave Frank de Boer's men a 2-0 win at the Amsterdam ArenA.
To make matters worse, Mihai Pintilii was sent off for a second bookable offence and he will be suspended for tomorrow night's clash, as is fellow midfielder and captain Alexandru Bourceanu.
Despite being outclassed in Holland last week - with Steaua goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu making several fine saves - Reghecampf is refusing to panic and believes his side are still capable of winning the tournament.
"I do not see why we can not overturn the deficit," he told a press conference. "Ideally we will get to the final.
"Ever since I came to Steaua I said I want to get this team to play a final of Europa League or Champions League.
"It's not like we had no chances (against Ajax last week). It is unfortunate that we have not scored. This would have had helped us."
Steaua will be be bidding to avoid getting knocked out of the competition at the last 32 for the second successive year and will welcome Cristian Tanase back into their squad.
The playmaker will likely captain the hosts tomorrow after serving a suspension in Amsterdam and Ajax coach De Boer is aware of how dangerous the Romania international can be.
"Steaua played very well in Amsterdam, I found them to be daring," said the former Ajax and Barcelona defender at his press conference.
"They constantly push forward. I expect a similar recipe again.
"But we are the favourite. If we score once, then they have to score four. We must not therefore think that it has already been played.
"Moreover, Cristian Tanase will play. For them it was annoying that he was suspended in Amsterdam. He is one of the better players in Romania and we will have to keep an eye on him."