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CFR eager for a crack at United

Published: Monday 1 October 2012, 19.00CET
CFR 1907 Cluj coach Ioan Andone said Romania was buzzing ahead of Manchester United FC's Group H visit, adding: "It will be nice to qualify for the next stage together."
by Stefan Lecca
from Cluj
Published: Monday 1 October 2012, 19.00CET

CFR eager for a crack at United

CFR 1907 Cluj coach Ioan Andone said Romania was buzzing ahead of Manchester United FC's Group H visit, adding: "It will be nice to qualify for the next stage together."

CFR 1907 Cluj beat SC Braga on matchday one and will look to secure their biggest scalp yet as Manchester United FC head east. Home coach Ioan Andone is sure that Romania will cheer his side on as they seek to defy Sir Alex Ferguson's men, who are reeling from a 3-2 home defeat at the weekend.

CFR have a few players with experience in the Champions League, and we have the whole of Romania behind us
Ioan Andone
Our second half against Spurs on Saturday was probably our best performance of the season, but you have to be concerned with the way we lost the goals
Sir Alex Ferguson

CFR
Coach Ioan Andone

It will be a great match for us and for Romania too. Both teams won their first match in the group and it would be nice to qualify for the next stage together. I met United when I was coach of Dinamo Bucureşti, but that was two different teams, two different scenarios – it was a preliminary round fixture [that United won]. Now CFR have a few players with experience in the Champions League, and we have the whole of Romania behind us. I hope our enthusiasm will make a difference. If we manage to score, we will have a chance. I don't think you can speak about fear against United.

If we won, it would bring great prestige and six points in the group, which is very important. It would be huge for Cluj and Transylvania too. Who wouldn't envy Sir Alex? To stay for so many years at the same club; to win so many things; to discover so many players – it's something that you could only dream of in Romania.

Weekend result
Saturday: CFR 5-1 ACF Gloria 1922 Bistriţa
(Kapetanos 5, Mureșan 35pen 55, Bjelanović 88, Alberto 90; Zahiri 90+3)
Felgueiras; Pinto, Maftei, Rada, Camora; Mureșan, Valente (Alberto 65); Aguirregaray, Sougou (Sepsi 86), Bastos; Kapetanos (Bjelanović 69).

• Despite the sending-off of Matías Aguirregaray on the hour, CFR still recorded their most emphatic victory in any competition this season.

Team news
Striker Pantelis Kapetanos is likely to play after coming through an evening training session. Andone said: "There will be changes because we had a game on Saturday, but not too many, because my players are used to a certain set-up."

United
Manager Sir Alex Ferguson
We saw CFR in the last game against Braga. They've beaten Basel twice in [this season's play-offs], and Basel knocked us out [of the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League group stage], so we need to give them every respect. I watched the games against Basel and Braga and I would pick out Rafael Bastos [as the danger man]. CFR are a team who defend quickly and get plenty of bodies behind the ball. Their main strength is the counterattack, as they showed against Braga. Counterattacking is very important in European football these days. Their strongest point is they have got three points. They play us tomorrow and then two games against Galatasaray. They need seven more points from five games and they will qualify.

We made the decision to train at home because most of the time when you train abroad you can't do anything because everyone is watching. Training at Carrington this morning allowed us to do things around picking the team and tactics. Our second half against Spurs on Saturday was probably our best performance of the season, but you have to be concerned with the way we lost the goals. We were well off the pace of the game. I don't think we won a tackle in the first half. We have some work to do in that respect. We must improve.

Weekend result
Saturday: United 2-3 Tottenham Hotspur FC (Nani 51, Kagawa 53; Vertonghen 2, Bale 32, Dempsey 52)
Lindegaard; Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra; Nani, Carrick, Scholes, Giggs (Rooney 46), Kagawa (Welbeck 79); Van Persie.

• United lost to Spurs at Old Trafford for the first time in 23 years. Saturday's reverse also marked their first home Premier League defeat of 2012.

Team news
Nemanja Vidić (knee), Chris Smalling (broken foot), Phil Jones (knee), Antonio Valencia (ankle) and Ashley Young (knee) are all unavailable. Wayne Rooney is back after a month on the sidelines with a lacerated leg, but Paul Scholes (rested), Ryan Giggs (virus) and Michael Carrick (virus) have not travelled.

Match fact
CFR coach Andone has taken on United in the past, his FC Dinamo Bucureşti side losing to them in 2004/05 UEFA Champions League qualifying. Giggs scored United's opening goal in a 2-1 first-leg win at Bucharest's old Lia Manoliu Stadium – the site of the new National Arena. Darren Fletcher and Scholes also played, though only Fletcher featured in United's 3-0 second-leg success.

Last updated: 25/09/14 4.32CET

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