presented by
UEFA Cup place at stake

Munteanu revels in return to Germany

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.