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Munteanu revels in return to Germany

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Munteanu revels in return to Germany

Postby FCBayernNews » Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:30 am

Dorinel Munteanu has less than happy memories of Bayern. The former Romania international faced Germany's most successful club 14 times as a pro with FC Köln and VfL Wolfsburg, recording just two wins, three draws and fully nine defeats. The 40-year-old will now attempt to polish up that record as coach of Tuesday's opponents Steaua Bucharest.

"It's a very tough job for us," Munteanu said at Monday's Champions League pre-match news conference. "I hope we give a decent account of ourselves. My players are focused and well-prepared. I think it could be a cracking match. We have respect for Bayern, but we're not scared."

Twelve games without a win

Munteanu took the Steaua helm four weeks ago when predecessor Marius Lacatus threw in the towel following a 5-3 home defeat to Olympique Lyon, but the club's fortunes have yet to be restored: Steaua have failed to win any of their last 12 games. "The players are going through a difficult phase, and it's not at all easy," Munteanu acknowledged.

In their domestic league, fifth-placed Steaua lie some eight points off the lead, although they have yet to lose since Munteanu took the hot seat. The Romanians arrive in Munich on the back of four consecutive draws. "And why shouldn't we escape our current situation in the 13th match?" 134-cap veteran Munteanu asked.

A good indicator for the unrest in the Steaua camp is a media boycott currently being staged by the players, at least until the next league match on 1 December against leaders Unirea Urziceni. The stars feel unfairly treated by the local sports press, and claim their statements are often misreported.

Munteanu remains typically talkative, setting his side a goal of third spot in the group, and a place in the last 32 of the UEFA Cup which comes with it. "We're aiming for the UEFA Cup, but we know it'll be tough." The men from Bucharest will require wins in both their remaining fixtures, away to FCB and at home to Fiorentina, a big ask in the light of Steaua's miserable run of 15 Champions League matches without a win since September 2006.

The German

"We mustn't show Bayern too much respect. We need to fight for 90 minutes," declared Munteanu. "We have no stars. What matters to us is the team," stated the man known in his home country as "The German" for his 198 Bundesliga appearances and focus on the virtues of discipline and organisation. "My philosophy isn't a long way removed from what I learned in the Bundesliga."

Munteanu expressed delight at returning to "my second home. It's a great feeling, and I'm always happy to be in Germany." The Steaua boss's family still live in the country, and he spent part of his coaching qualifying period as a guest of Christoph Daum in Cologne: "I learned a lot from Mr Daum," he says. Bayern provide one of the few less than happy memories. "I had good and bad games against Bayern, but I don't recall any of the results," he declared with a grin.
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