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Romania have qualified for just two major tournaments since 1998 but striker Ciprian Marica feels the good times could be around the corner.
Victor Piţurcă admitted he was "taking a risk" when he took charge of Romania for the third time, in June 2011. However, his country only missed out on this summer's FIFA World Cup in the play-offs and have shown sufficient promise to suggest a place at UEFA EURO 2016 is within reach. Piţurcă's pedigree – Romania reached UEFA EURO 2000 and UEFA EURO 2008 with him at the helm – means Marica is cautiously optimistic.
"He's a coach with a lot of authority," said the 28-year-old Getafe CF striker. "His opinion is the most important thing. He finds it difficult to accept opinions from his players because he has experience with his players and knows exactly how they perform. But he's the coach who has led the national team to the World Cup and the European Championship. That's why he has the trust of the people and so we hope he can provide the best solution and that we'll be there at the European Championship."
Despite this respect for Piţurcă, Marica knows the current generation does not include the stellar talent of other recent sides. "We used to have a lot of high-quality individuals, such as Adrian Mutu and Cristian Chivu, and we built a team around them," he added. "Now we have to think together, as a group, be compact and use the speed we have going forward and the quality of our passing. We have a lot of technical players. I think counterattacking is our main strength at the moment."
Romania are in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying Group F along with the Faroe Islands, Finland, Greece, Hungary and Northern Ireland. They begin their campaign in Greece on 7 September.
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