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Victor Piţurcă mused that France might not be "as strong as they once were" after his Romania side drew 0-0 against the beaten 2006 FIFA World Cup finalists in their opening Group C game at the Letzigrund Stadion in Zurich. His opposite number Raymond Domenech, meanwhile, remained realistic about France's prospects in a section also containing the Netherlands and Italy, saying: "I would have liked to have won this game 10-0 with a lot of very good chances, but that didn't happen."
Victor Piţurcă, Romania coach
It was a physically demanding game, and I'm satisfied with the result. Of course we would also have taken the three points – France are maybe not as strong as they once were. Nothing happened to Adrian Mutu [who was substituted in the second half] – he couldn't play for all of the preparation period, so it was important that he got 75 minutes here. In the next match, I'm sure you'll see the real Mutu. I was worried because our players picked up bookings too easily in the first half, but the boys understood my message at half-time and we managed not to get another yellow card.
France have good players but perhaps they have a couple of players who have got older. They are experienced players but perhaps they have got tired of playing in these final tournaments. I don't really care who wins [between the Netherlands and Italy in the other Group C game in Berne]. The important thing is that we prepare well for our match against Italy – we don't want to lose that game.
Raymond Domenech, France coach
As I said at the draw, it's a difficult group – the teams are good, solid, tough and well-prepared. I said the same six months ago and it was confirmed today. I think all the teams will be worried about getting through. Every team will find it difficult to beat the others. We have two matches to play and this group will stay strong until the end. I would have liked to have won this game 10-0 with a lot of very good chances, but that didn't happen. I will still be disappointed if we don't qualify, but we will have to play well in the two remaining matches.
Romania defended well. They played twice against the Netherlands and the Dutch didn't score. The situation was quite similar to the opening 2006 [FIFA] World Cup match against Switzerland – it was a hot day, we were all a little bit nervous and tense. Patrick Vieira is doing better. He's training with the rest of the group. We hope we will have a couple more weeks [in the tournament] and he will be completely fit. Thierry Henry is doing much better too – he had a small problem and was not quite ready to play today, but he should be back on track from tomorrow. [Romania's coach] may be right [about France being weaker than they once were]. Or perhaps Romania have better players now.
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