Politehnica Timisoara will meet FC Brasov on Saturday at home in the first leg of the play-off to avoid relegation from League 2. The Ardelii are ranked 5th in group B of the play-out with 24 points.
“We are really ahead of the first leg, in fact they are the two most important games of the season. They are two games in which we must not necessarily forget what has happened so far, because of course there are things we have to learn from, but they are two games in which motivation must be taken to the highest level, the spirit of sacrifice, the team spirit and in which the only option we have is to come out victorious”, said Nicolae Croitoru, Politehnica’s head coach.
“Sure there is pressure, but just like us, there is pressure in Brasov, there are two games with very important stakes, but we have to overcome this pressure. Motivation must be, as I said, at high levels, because I think we have to defend a name, we have to defend a spirit, that of Politehnica Timisoara, and I think we all have to prove this”, added the white-violet coach.
“Brasov had very good results in away games. Even the last away game, in Tg. Jiu, they managed to win it 2-1, even though they played with an extra player for most of the game. At home, apart from the Astra game, they have failed to win this season. Clearly these aspects show us that Brasov is a team with good away games, with consistent games. And somehow they manage to get positive results”, he said about the opponent.
Even on the occasion of this duel, our team is not spared from problems with the squad. Thus, although Nicolae Sofran and Adrian Zaluschi have resumed training, it is only next week that the two will be back in the normal programme with their colleagues. Daniel Olariu is also still suffering from pain after an old injury. On the other hand, Claudiu Pamfile started training normally yesterday and will be part of the squad for this game.
Asked about the situation of vice-captain Cristian Scutaru, who will not be used in the double play-off, Nicu Croitoru explained: “I had no conflict with Scutaru (…) He had some unfortunate expressions towards the staff, towards people in the club management… insulting expressions towards certain people, and these things are not normal. Whether they are players, coaches, staff, managers, whoever. The decision is made by the end of this season. Scutaru is from my point of view an emblematic player for this club. I’ve expressed myself on other occasions, as well as Alin (Ignea), as well as Mera, they are basically players who have carried the weight for years, but even in this situation I think there must be certain rules that must be respected”.
On the relationship with the gallery lately, the coach concluded, “Nobody is happy when there are no results. And, like it or not, those results have not been this season. At least after the game we lost at home to Sibiu, although we had a good start to the year, some problems arose. And then these chants are a consequence of the results we have achieved. Everybody expects results. Even though in the last two games, the attitude of the team, even the evolution, has been increasing. Maybe at some point we also lacked the chance. Like the game against Metaloglobus. Maybe the defeat in Iasi was undeserved, because the way the game was played, the ratio of goal situations, if we think that until the 83-84th minute, at that penalty, nothing announced such an evolution of the score, if we think that the penalty received was preceded by a very clear penalty that we had. These are factors that in the end led to some less desirable results… I repeat, everyone expects results, it’s normal, and then the way they manifest themselves is the consequence of these poor results that we have obtained”.
“We have a very important double-header against Brasov, a dangerous away team. We hope to wash away the shame of making the play-offs. Let’s win both legs and erase this championship we’ve made. We hope to emerge victorious from this double-header”, said Alin Ignea, captain of the white-violet team in the away leg in Iași.
The experienced Timisoara midfielder admits that the duel with the Ardelenians is the most important since he started playing for Politehnica: “It’s the most important, another pressure is when you play for relegation, you have much more to lose than when you play for promotion. If you don’t get promoted, that’s promotion. In relegation, if you don’t win, you’re relegated. It’s a pressure, but we have to get through it and wash away the shameful season we’ve had so far.”
“In my view they are right. They came every trip, they supported us, we have nothing to reproach them for. What can we reproach them for not playing? People came on their own money… everyone can say their opinion. If they came to Iasi on their own money, on their own time, what can we say? That it’s their fault and not ours? …We have to win the double-header with Brasov and everything will be erased and we’ll see what will happen in the summer! There’s nothing left to look back at… There’s nothing left to do, at least let’s give them this double-header, let’s win and see…”, concluded Ignea about the supporters’ reactions.
The match Politehnica Timisoara – FC Brasov, the first leg of the play-off to avoid relegation from League 2, will be played on Saturday, May 14, at 14:00 (televised Digi Sport 1, Prima Sport 2), at the “Știința” arena. A ticket for this game costs 20 lei (general admission). More information in the link.
The return leg is scheduled a week later. In the regular season Poli won 1-0 in Brasov with Erik Gerbi’s goal.