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Positive Steaua vow to take game to Chelsea

Published: Wednesday 13 March 2013, 21.31CET
Regardless of their 1-0 lead, FC Steaua Bucureşti "always try to win games" and it is an attacking approach they will not shelve in their last-16 decider away to Chelsea FC.
by Jamie Reid
from London
Positive Steaua vow to take game to Chelsea
Steaua's Łukasz Szukała (left) and Vlad Chiricheş jump with Fernando Torres in the first leg ©AFP/Getty Images
Published: Wednesday 13 March 2013, 21.31CET

Positive Steaua vow to take game to Chelsea

Regardless of their 1-0 lead, FC Steaua Bucureşti "always try to win games" and it is an attacking approach they will not shelve in their last-16 decider away to Chelsea FC.

Responsible for perhaps the biggest shock in the first instalment of UEFA Europa League round of 16 action, FC Steaua Bucureşti will not sit on their haunches as they aim to complete the job and eliminate Chelsea FC.

The task of defending a 1-0 lead at the home of the European champions may sway some coaches into adopting a conservative approach, but not Laurenţiu Reghecampf. His side landed in London having scored four goals on the road at the weekend in registering their fifth straight league win and with the belief gained from their first-leg success still coursing through their veins.

Consequently, Steaua, 12 points clear in Romania's Liga 1, will be "trying to win the game" at Stamford Bridge. "It will be really difficult, but I have a team that like to play football and conduct [the tempo of] matches," said Reghecampf, who at 37 is 15 years Rafael Benítez's junior. "Of course, we will see to what extent we can do this tomorrow, but we always try to win games."

Youthful bravado or not, Reghecampf added that he is not concerned by the challenge Chelsea's array of expensive talent pose. By contrast, he said: "If I am afraid of anything then it is my own team – I don't like to look too much at our opponents.

"In Amsterdam [a 2-0 round of 32 first-leg loss to AFC Ajax] we didn't have a pleasant experience and weren't able to play how we wanted. Now my main concern is to get my players ready to play the way we would like to tomorrow evening."

Steaua's tie against Ajax was the first since the advent of the UEFA Europa League to be decided by penalties, Iasmin Latovlevici clinching a 4-2 spot-kick triumph. With home advantage, though, Benítez does not expect his side to need a shoot-out situation. "We have not been practising penalties – we are confident it will not go there," said the Chelsea manager, a UEFA Cup winner as Valencia CF coach in 2004.

"We knew the first leg would be tough – our scouts were telling us to be careful because they are a good team. We will see if we can play our game at Stamford Bridge and see if they can cope with the intensity. We have a lot of respect for Steaua because we know they are a good team."

Last updated: 14/03/13 1.13CET

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