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Sânmărtean 'the merciless' chases Vaslui victory

Published: Tuesday 13 December 2011, 18.45CET
For his side to reach the UEFA Europa League round of 32 Lucian Sânmărtean says FC Vaslui must "show no mercy" against FC Zürich while S.S. Lazio are hoping to capitalise on any slips.
Sânmărtean 'the merciless' chases Vaslui victory
Lazio's Senad Lulić vying with Vasile Buhăesc of Vaslui on matchday five ©Getty Images
 
 
Published: Tuesday 13 December 2011, 18.45CET

Sânmărtean 'the merciless' chases Vaslui victory

For his side to reach the UEFA Europa League round of 32 Lucian Sânmărtean says FC Vaslui must "show no mercy" against FC Zürich while S.S. Lazio are hoping to capitalise on any slips.

As his side target the victory that would propel them into the UEFA Europa League round of 32 for the first time, midfielder Lucian Sânmărtean insists FC Vaslui must "show no mercy in their decisive game" at FC Zürich.

In the other final Group D match, meanwhile, coach Eduardo Reja feels that "the right intensity" can inspire S.S. Lazio to overcome group winners Sporting Clube de Portugal and pip the Romanian outfit to second place.

Thanks to their goalless draw with Lazio on matchday five, Vaslui's fate lies in their own hands. An away win against Zürich, who are already eliminated, will take Viorel Hizo's charges through to the knockout stage at the expense of the Serie A team, but Sânmărtean is warning against complacency.

"This game will not be very different from the one in Piatra Neamt in September because we will play to win," said the 31-year-old. "I don't think Zürich can afford to take the game lightly even if they have no chance of qualifying."

Zürich may be bottom of the section and out of contention yet Sânmărtean, who has played all five of his side's group fixtures, knows the Swiss club will be no pushovers. These, after all, are the same opponents that held them to a 2-2 draw in Romania.

"I don't think Zürich have any individuals to fear but as a team they are very good," the Romanian international said. "In the first match I was surprised to see a side from Switzerland play such modern football.

"They are young and enthusiastic but we must play with confidence and show no mercy in this decisive game. For us, the final match of the group stage is historic. We are one step away from the club's best ever performance so everybody is excited."

Should Vaslui fall short of victory, Lazio – also currently on six points – can advance at their expense by bettering their result. Though they host the table toppers, Sporting have already qualified and therefore may prove a softer touch than the team that beat the Romans 2-1 in Lisbon. Not that coach Reja is expecting any favours.

"Our main target is to win the match, because only a victory will keep us on course for the knockout phase," he said. "Nobody thinks it's going to be an easy game. We must play the right match and wait to see what happens in Zurich. The key will be our intensity, and ensuring Sporting don't score first. We definitely can't afford for that to happen."

The Biancocelesti have been hampered by injury problems which deprive them of first-choice goalkeeper Federico Marchetti (thigh) and his back-up Alessandro Berardi (elbow) though Reja is not looking for excuses. "I'm not in the habit of complaining about missing players. We have [Albano] Bizzarri back, he has fully recovered [from a hand injury] and will play.

"He deserves to because he has been waiting a long time. UEFA has also allowed us to add [Juan Pablo] Carrizo to the list. He played pretty well against Lecce on Sunday, despite not having played competitively for several months, so I think we are in safe hands either way."

Last updated: 14/12/11 15.40CET

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