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Cadú calm amid storm at CFR Cluj

Changing coach 48 hours before a game is hardly ideal yet CFR 1907 Cluj captain Cadú is calm and remains convinced his side can make their usual winning start to European competition.

Cadú calm amid storm at CFR Cluj
Cadú calm amid storm at CFR Cluj ©UEFA.com

Changing a coach 48 hours before any game is never ideal, less still ahead of a UEFA Champions League group stage opener. Yet CFR 1907 Cluj captain Cadú is unconcerned and remains convinced his team can make their usual winning start to European competition.

Andrea Mandorlini guided CFR to a league and cup success last season but paid the price for a poor start to their title defence, Friday's defeat by FC Rapid Bucureşti leaving the champions 12th in the table. His replacement is Sorin Cârţu, 54, a double winner himself with FC Universitatea Craiova in 1990/91.

"We have changed coached before so we're used to it; we know how to handle it," said Cadú. "Our league form hasn't been good enough and we know we must improve but we are players who get on with the job. I feel sorry for Mandorlini because by coaching us to the double he earned the right to lead us into the Champions League this season, but he is not here – now we have Sorin Cârţu; we want to get started under him."

Cadú is one of eight survivors from CFR's last UEFA Champions League campaign, which began with a fine win at AS Roma. Last season they started life in the UEFA Europa League by beating FC København 2-0, a feat the Portuguese centre-back is adamant they can repeat this time round: "Basel are a very good team – they have experienced players and their coach plays attacking football but we're confident we can win."

Midfielder Gabriel Mureşan echoed his captain's thoughts while stressing that a positive attitude will be crucial. "Basel are a well-organised team but we can win," said the Romanian international. "Everyone wants to improve on our recent form and we are well-known for having a very good defence – we've been together for a long time now. This should free up our inventive players to create more opportunities. We know we must score."