Mircea Lucescu: We have to gear up for Rapid like it’s Real Madrid or Barcelona
The Pitmen’s head coach has reflected on the Champions League play-off round draw.
- The first impression is that this team are weaker than all those that we may have got. Everyone – the fans and many others – wanted us to be drawn against Bruges or Rapid (Vienna). Obviously, Rapid do not have such a prominent football name in Europe. But every year there are new teams that come to the forefront and show quite good football. This is precisely the case of Rapid, who managed to eliminate Ajax from the competition and beat Salzburg in the Austrian league. Maybe this team do not have big names, but they are very organised and disciplined. Therefore, our two matches will be very hard. Probably, many remember a 5-1 defeat against Austria. Back then our team were not concentrated enough in the game... Anything can happen in a two-legged game: an error from a player, inattention in a particular episode... At this stage, almost all the teams are of about the same level. We need to pay more attention to the opponents - as if we face Barcelona or Real Madrid. Only in this case we can eliminate Rapid from the competition. If we show football that we showed in the matches with Fenerbahce, I think we will advance further. We cannot be complacent in any case. Our goal is to be at the group stage of the Champions League. All of us, without exception, want to play there a lot. Again, it is our place! And this year we have to prove it directly in the games against our opponents.
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