Florin Lovin conceded that winning against Sevilla FC in Group H would mean FC Steaua Bucureşti having "a great day and the Spanish side a very bad one".
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Florin Lovin has conceded that winning against Sevilla FC in Group H would mean FC Steaua Bucureşti having "a great day and the Spanish side a very bad one".
"There is a slim chance of us getting through," said the 25-year-old central midfielder who had spent part of last winter searching unsuccessfully for a new club after featuring infrequently in the Bucharest giants' plans. "However, in order to beat Sevilla we will have to have a great day and the Spanish side a very bad one."
Still without a point after three UEFA Champions League group-stage games and struggling for form in Romania's Liga 1, Steaua's prospects of reaching the knockout rounds are dim to say the least. Indeed, a home victory against UEFA Cup holders Sevilla – following a gallant 2-1 defeat in Spain on Matchday 3 – looks unlikely to the neutral observer.
Drawn with Arsenal FC, Sevilla and newcomers SK Slavia Praha in Group H, Steaua have known all along that they are up against it. "After the draw it was obvious that we were the third strongest side in this group, meaning we would be fighting more for third place than for qualification for the last 16. I said this after the draw and I say it now."
Lovin is in contention to face Sevilla on Wednesday, having appeared in nine of Steaua's 12 league matches and once in the UEFA Champions League this term. Freshly returned from a month on the sidelines with a left ankle injury, he has seen coaches come and go at the Steaua Stadium during this campaign, with Gheorghe Hagi, Massimo Pedrazzini and now Marius Lăcătuş occupying the hot seat.
For Lovin, though, the onus for changing the club's fortunes lies with the players. "The problem at Steaua has not been the coaches but us players. We are the real problem and we have to solve this. We can't hide and say AC Milan have not performed well in their league or that VfB Stuttgart and Liverpool [FC] have underperformed in the Champions league. We have to look at ourselves and do what we have to do."