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HUGHTON'S NOTES

Posted on 13 December 2006  - 12:00

Chris Hughton runs the rule over Dinamo Bucharest, our final opponents in the group stages of the UEFA Cup at the Lane on Thursday night.

Chris Hughton runs the rule over Dinamo Bucharest, our final opponents in the group stages of the UEFA Cup at the Lane on Thursday night.

DINAMO BUCHAREST will be a very difficult game for us, no doubt about it.

For one, they know that they have to come and win the game to top the group, whereas we only need the draw. I would expect them to come looking for the win as every team wants to finish top of the group because of what that means in terms of the bigger picture in the competition.

I can’t imagine there are too many other teams going into UEFA Cup games with the form domestically that this team has.

They are comfortably ahead in Romania, scoring goals and are very confident. In fact, they are 13 points clear of Steaua Bucharest, the team who played in the Champions League this season.

In a way, it’s disappointing that we’re sitting there on nine points and still need another point to clinch top spot. Before the start of the group stages, you would have thought nine points would have been enough to win the group. Having said that we know what we’ve got to do, we're at home and we’re confident.

Dinamo usually line-up in a 4-4-2 formation but as is the case with many continental teams, it’s not a flat 4-4-2, they will have a lot of movement and are a very good team in possession.

As regards the names, Ganea is a player a few people in this country might be aware of having played for Wolves and the front two, Ganea and Niculescu, show good movement as a pair and are capable of scoring goals on any occasion. They are the focal part of the team.

In midfield they have Serban on the right, Cristea on the left, Blay, a midfielder who can also step into a right-back role, Ropotan and at the back, Radu Stefan and Goian tend to be central, Galamaz on the right, Pulhac on the left, who pushes on more. They are names that won’t mean too much to our supporters but this is a good team.

It almost reminds me of campaigns in the past, especially up against Eastern European teams. I always remember Dinamo Tblisi going to West Ham, most people didn’t know them, but Peter Shreeve watched it and he came back absolutely raving about them. They won 4-1 that night. It’s good for the fans that there is that bit of mystery about them. Most of our fans will know most of the players we're up against in the Premiership but they might only know one of this team in Ganea. It's what this competition is all about.

What we have to do is make sure is that our fans are talking about our performance at the end of the game, not theirs.