Cristian Chivu: Making the step into first team management

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  • Stlducks
    2180 posts Fans' Favourite
    Surprise signing, I like it. Will be interesting to see if more players come to the league that normally wouldn't.
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
    Stlducks wrote: »
    Surprise signing, I like it. Will be interesting to see if more players come to the league that normally wouldn't.

    I saw Jack as somebody trying to rebuild his career maybe a new challenge can keep his hunger
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
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    Nicusor Bancu has finally completed a move away from Universitatea Craiova after agreeing a three and a half year deal to sign for Turkish league leaders Besiktas for a fee in the region of £2,800,000. The former captain had put pen to paper on a new deal in September to prevent him leaving on a free transfer next summer and he has now completed a move to the Turkish giants. Nother player leaving the club is highly rated Romania under twenty one international Jovan Markovic who has signed for KAA Gent in a deal worth £2,250,000 whilst centre back Renato Kelic will join Bancu in Turkey after signing for Trabzonspor in a deal worth £2,200,000. Is isn’t all bad for Craiova though as they have moved quick to replace their captain with the signing of young left back Federico DiMarco from Inter Milan for £800,000 on a five year deal. Craiova have also announced they have reached a pre contract agreement with midfielder Andres Ricaurte, the attacking midfielder is in the final year of his deal and has signed a two year deal and will join the club in the summer when his deal expires.

    We spoke with Chivu about his first window.
    Q: Cristian, first transfer window out of the way. Are you happy with how it turned out?
    Chivu: Yes I am, we managed to sign all three of our top targets so it has to go down as a successful window. We expected Nicusor (Bancu) to leave and we’re happy for him because he got a very good move to a top team in Besiktas, Jovan (Markovic) told us he’d like to move at the beginning of January so we worked on a god deal for him and the club and then Renato had a good offer from Turkey which we felt was fair.

    Q: Jovan was very highly rated by fans as one for the future, how disappointed were you when he told you he wanted to leave?
    Chivu: Of course I was disappointed because he is young player with massive potential he is only eighteen and he has already made a lot of appearances for us but I know that when a young player doesn’t want to be at a team anymore it can affect his progression. He isn’t the finished article and we have other young players who want to be here who are coming through and I think in the next weeks we will see them start the transition. He has freed up a spot and I believe Sergio (Branco) will take the spot.

    Q: Many are surprised at the signing of Jack Byrne as we don’t see many Irish players in Romania. What attracted you to him?
    Chivu: I think Jack is an incredible talent, he had a few tough years before a successful season with Shamrock and we hope that he can continue progressing well with us. He was actually recommended by Roberto Mancini wo worked with him at Man City and when we scouted him he was exactly what we wanted . Federico is a player I know from Inter and I am delighted he agreed to join the team, he has had a rough few years but I think that we can offer him an opportunity to turn his career around.


    In addition to the new signings youngsters Tomas Stan and Sergio Branco have both put pen to paper and signed their first professional contracts. Tomas Stan who turned eighteen on the 1st January is a Romania under 21 international whilst Sergio Branco doesn’t turn eighteen until May is a Portuguese under twenty international. Both players are likely to be on the bench for Craiova’s upcoming game with Gaz Metan with many seeing Branco as an improvement on Jovan Markovic who signed for KAA Gent last month.

    In more news midfielder Alexandru Cicaldau has been named as the new captain, the midfielder will takeover from Nicusor Bancu who joined Besiktas last month with Uros Cosic named vice captain.
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
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    Q: Byrne really impressed on his debut, what are your thoughts on such a strong debut?
    Chivu: I think Jack showed the quality he has, he kept the ball moving in midfield and created the first goal and had a massive impact on the second goal. I think all the lads who made their debuts played well including Sergio (Branco) and Tomas (Stan) who both came off the bench and obviously Federico was excellent at left back even though he hasn’t played any football this season.

    Q: After a month without a game how crucial was it you got straight back to winning ways?
    Chivu: It was crucial we came back with a win, we obviously lost two first team players in Renato (Kelic) and Nicusor (Bancu) as well as Jovan (Markovic) so we went with a new system and the players who came in did really well. I have a lot of belief in Federcio (Dimarco) he is a fantastic young player and he is an ideal replacement for Nicusor.

    Q: CFR Cluj were beaten yesterday by Steaua Bucuresti, did that add pressure on you knowing you could close the gap to five points today?
    Chivu: No it didn’t if anything it took pressure off us knowing regardless of the result the lead wouldn’t grow. The pressure is on Cluj to win the title we are just taking it one game at a time to see where we end up and hopefully we defy the odds and get the win but the main thing is to keep enjoying our football.
    Universitatea Craiova have closed the gap on CFR Cluj at the top of the table to five points after there 2-0 win at home to Gaz Metan in a game that saw highly rated young duo Sergio Branco and Tomas Stan come off the bench to make their debuts.

    It wasn’t just the two youngsters making their Craiova debuts though with Federico Dimarco and Jack Byrne both being given starts after their moves last month and it was the latter who set up the first goal, a superb through ball by the new man set Mihaila in behind he ran into the box before firing across the keeper into the far corner after forty four minutes. It was two just minutes later Byrnes corner wasn’t dealt with and Mihaila picked the ball up and crossed to the back post for Koljic who headed home from close range.

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    Q: Kojic is continuing his hot run of form with another goal today. How satisfied are you with his performance?
    Chivu: He is an incredible striker everybody knows this and we are happy with how he is performing. Not only does he score but he also creates so we are happy with everything he offers the team.

    Q: After going 1-0 down were you confident you could get back into the game?
    Chivu: Yes I was very confident we could. It was an even game for the most part we had some incredible chances on the counter but we made a poor decision at the end of he counter and it cost us most of the time. When we went 1-0 down I knew we would react and we did and I feel we deserved the point if not more.

    Q: How crucial was Cicaldau’s miss with less then ten minutes left?
    Chivu: It was a bad moment for Alex but player’s miss chances unfortunately today it was an important chance but we won’t dwell on it we must respond to try and close the gap again. If we win our next two league games against Iasi and Cluj then the gap will be at most four points with a lot of games left we know the title is a real possibility.
    Universitatea Craiova lost ground in the title race after coming from behind to draw at Viitorul.

    Viitorul had a majority of the possession but Craiova looked very dangerous on the counter but it was Viitorul who took the lead, a nice patient passing move saw Rivaldinho find Iancu in space in the box after Martic had lost his man and he made no mistake firing past Pigliacelli at his near post from six yards. Craiova were level five minutes later Qaka playing the ball into Koljic on the edge of the box who showed superb strength to turn Leca before firing ino the top corner. Craiova could have won the game with eight minutes left when Branco played Cicaldau through one on one but the Craiova captain failed miles wide and the points were shared.

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    Iasi (4-2-3-1): Rusu, Gallego, Mihalache, Frasinescu, Serban, Chelaru, Didac, Loshaj, Cristea, Breeveld, Cristea
    Craiova (4-3-3): Pigliacelli, Matel, Gardos, Balasa, Vatajelu, Matieu, Cicaldau, Branco, Stan, Koljic, Ivan

    Q: A comfortable win sees you into the next round of the cup. What were your impressions on the game?
    Chivu: I am happy with our performance, we kept the ball moving well and scored two fantastic goals. I thought that we defended really well today in the second half they pushed the tempo a little more but we coped really well and never looked in danger.

    Q: Both your goals came in the first half, were you still happy with your sides performance in the second half?
    Chivu: Yeah, like I said I don’t feel we ever felt like we were in to much danger. Obviously at half time we knew they would react and come out and try to get back into the game but we defended really well, the only disappointment we have is that we were a little sloppy moving forwards in the second half but overall I am happy yes.

    Q: Sergio provided assists for both goals today and received the man of the math award and he has spoken publicly about how happy he is with the first team opportunities he is getting. How impressed with him have you been since his promotion to the first team?
    Chivu: I am proud of him and I told him that, all the opportunities he has been getting are fully deserved. Today he set up both goals and earnt the man of the match award in his first start for the team, he is young so he did tire towards the end of the match but both he and Toma (Stan) deserve the chances they’re getting.

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    Q: Were you expecting an Elvir Koljic hat trick today?
    Chivu: I think this was the perfect performance from him but also from his teammates. He is such a role model the way he has bounced back from the injury he suffered last season and he is scoring goals every week, he is an incredible talent and we are lucky to have him. He was outstanding today and he could have scored a couple more he hit the post and had a few other glimpses at goal it was breathtaking.

    Q: Back to back wins against Politehnica this week scoring six and condeding none. Is this the perfect way to prepare for the big clash with Cluj next week?
    Chivu: Yes it is, they have a really tough game tomorrow against Viitorul that I’m sure we will all be watching and we know that Dinamo are playing Steaua which is another game we are interested in. We know confidence is key and if we can get the points against Cluj the title race will be on as we head down the crucial part of the season.

    Q: What were your thoughts on Polihnica Iasi’s performance today?
    Chivu: They tried to be more aggressive today then they were on Tuesday night, they pushed forward from the start but I think that allowed us to break at pace and played into our hands a ittle bit. People are going t be critical of how they played that’s football but think we were that good today we made them look worse then they were.

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    Q: That win today sees your side unbeaten for twenty league games. How impressed are you with your team?
    Chivu: I am delighted with my team, sometimes in the run we have been in difficult situations but we have always reacted well and have never given up. When we started this run I think we were ten points behind Cluj and today we beat them and the gap is just one point now.

    Q: It was a very tight game with young Sergio Branco coming off the bench to fire home the winner. How happy are you to see him score his first goal and for it to come in such a big game?
    Chivu: I am happy for him to score this goal, he has been so impressive since his debut and he is working so hard to keep improving. I am also happy that Jack (Byrne) got his first goal because that really set us on our way before that the game was cagey but that goal opened it up and it was a nice finish.

    Q: Your team were awarded a penalty but you looked furious that only a yellow was shown. Have you re watched the incident and has your opinion changed?
    Chivu: I have watched the tackle again and I stand by my reaction the player made no attempt to win the ball and he denied a goal scoring opportunity so I asked the ref and he said the player tried to win the ball and we still had an opportunity through the penalty but I disagree but we won and that was the main thing today.
    Universitatea Craiova scored a 93rd minute winner to close the gap at the top of the table to just one point thanks to young striker Sergio Branco.

    The best chance of the first half fell to Craiova Koljic played a great ball through for Mihaila who cut inside and curled an effort towards the far corner that came back off the post and fell to Cicaldau who volleyed the ball against the same post. It was Craiova who took the lead after sixty nine minutes a move started and finished by Byrne he played it to Cicaldau who played it first time to Koljic he took a touch before laying it off to Byrne on the edge of the box the Irish man broke into the box and fired into the bottom corner. Cluj were level six minutes later when Camora played a ball into the box from the left and Balasa seemed to lose the flight of it and it dropped to Tucudean who fired past Pigliacelli from eight yards. Craiova were awarded a penalty two minutes later when Vatajelu played Koljic through on goal and he was brought down from behind by Paulo Vinicius, Chivu was furious as the Cluj defender was shown just a yellow card for the challenge. Koljic stepped p to take the penalty and he rifled the ball into the top right corner as Arlaukis dived the wrong way. Cluj thought they had a point when Omrai equalised in the 87th minute after Sylla found him inmarked six yards out and he slotted it into the corner. Craiova scored the winner in the final minute of injury time when young striker Branco scored his firs professional goal and what a time to get it, Cicaldau played the ball into the youngsters feet in the box he did brilliantly to get past Paulo Vinicius before firing across the keeper into the far corner.

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    Q: Cristian is it fair to say that wasn’t your best performance this season?
    Chivu: I think the first half we were fantastic but the second half we struggled to keep the ball. You have to give credit to Dinamo they pressed really high and made it hard to play our passing style of football but I think what we d shoed today was determination, organisation and a real fighting spirit to keep in the lead and then obviously nick the goal at the end to secure the three points.

    Q: Winning by two goals do you think that flattered your team?
    Chivu: I think a win flattered us we were so poor on the ball in the second half but that is what top teams do they dig deep when it really matters and we may look at this result at the end of the season as one of them games where we weren’t at our best but found a way to win.

    Q: How impressed have you been with Valentin Mihaila this season?
    Chivu: He has been incredible, our fans compare him to Phillipe Coutinho maybe he isn’t on that level but he is similar in style he likes to cut inside and get the ball on his right and he is a very good dribbler. He is still only young and to be playing the amount of football he is and to keep performing is incredible his form isn’t dropping off.

    [/spoiler]Univesitatea Craiova put in a backs to the wall performance as hey kept up the pace in the title race with a 3-1 at Dinamo Bucuresti. Neicutescu’s cross from the left caused a mix up between Balasa and Pigliacelli and Mrzljak nipped infront of the keeper to poke home. Craiova retook the lead in first half injury time with a huge stroke of luck as Qakas ball to Cicaldau was miscontrolled by the Craiova captain but the miscontrol helped take the ball away from the defender and the Romania international fired into the bottom corner from the edge of the box. Dinamo dominated the majority of the second half but struggled to create any clear cut chances with Craiova defending well and it was Craiova who scored again against the run of play as Mihaila broke into the box he cut it back onto his right foot and fired into the bottom corner

    Craiova took the lead after twenty five minutes, a fantastic ball over the top by Byrne set Koljic away and he fired across the keeper into the far corner. Dinamo equalised nine minutes later
    [/spoiler]

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  • Stlducks
    2180 posts Fans' Favourite
    What a run the team is on. The transfer window looks to have freshened the squad and the long break off didn't break the streak without a loss which is positive to see.

    Only 1 point behind the leaders, something that did not seem likely a few short months ago.
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
    Stlducks wrote: »
    What a run the team is on. The transfer window looks to have freshened the squad and the long break off didn't break the streak without a loss which is positive to see.

    Only 1 point behind the leaders, something that did not seem likely a few short months ago.

    The team have been superb the change from 5-3-2 to 5-2-3 has been very effective with Barbut and Mihaila excelling
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
    Unfortunately my computer did an update and I have lost the game details I had for March and April... We are in the final month of the season now with two games remaining the results were

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    The league standings are below. My final two games are at home to Steaua and then away to Gaz Metan then we have the cup final with Hermannstadt

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  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
    edited December 2019
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    Q: With two goals Sergio Branco was the hero today. How happy have you been with his performances?
    Chivu: Sergio is a superb young player who is only getting better, today was a tough match an important game and he stepped up and scored two crucial goals for the team. We are sad about Barbut’s injury but he is stepping up and Jack Byrne is a right midfielder so he is back in his natural position as well.

    Q: Mirko saved a penalty with the score at 2-1. In your opinion how crucial was that save?
    Chivu: It was vital, if they score it is 2-2 and they have the momentum but he pulled off the save and we are so happy to have him as our keeper. He has helped us a lot in the title race and now we must look to next week and hope to secure the final three points for the title.

    Q: Cristian one more match, you win and your Champions. What has this season been like for you?
    Chivu: We started ok with a 5-3-2 but I felt we weren’t getting the most out of the players so we switched to a 5-2-3 and that worked brilliantly. The plan was to play a 4-3-3 with an attacking midifleder but we didn’t have the players for it but when Jack joined it meant we could let Kelic leave and change system and the new system has been great as well. We have worked really hard and although at the start of the season the main aim was Europe we felt we could cause a shock then Cluj started how they did with the incredible run but we kept going and eventually wore them down.
    Universitatea Craiova are closing in on the title after beating Steaua Bucuresti 3-1 at home.

    Craiova got off to a dream start Jack Bryne breaking down the right his low cross was met by Branco twelve yards out who slotted into the corner. It was 2-0 eleven minutes later a nice counter attack saw Koljic play Branco through one on one and he fired into the corner. Steaua did pull a goal back after twenty eight minutes Vina playing the ball into Tanase’s feet in the box Balasa’s challenge bounced off the attackers shin and back into his path before he fired into the corner from six yards. Steaua were awarded a penalty after sixty six minutes when Cicaldau brought Coman down in the box, Tanase stepped up to take but his pananka attempt was read by Pigliacelli who easily pushed his penalty round the post. Craiova wrapped up the point in the sixth minute of injury time after Pigliacelli played Stan in down the right, his cross was met by Koljic who volleyed into the corner.

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    Q: Congratulations on winning the title, What are your thoughts on this season?
    Chivu: You have to give the credit to the players, all of them have played their part in this historic season for the team but our season isn’t over so we won’t be celebrating to hard yet we still have a cup final to play. We will celebrate tonight have two days rest and then it is back to business for the cup final.

    Q: Sergio Branco was forced off with an injury in the first half how serious was the injury?
    Chivu: We gave him ten minutes to try and run it off but he couldn’t the physio has had a look and thinks he has broken his toe and so he won’t be fit for the final. It’s a shame for him because he has played fantastic in the run to the final but we will try and win the cup and hopefully he is back before the new season starts.

    Q: There has been a lot of speculation regarding your future, can we expect to see you at Craiova next season?
    Chivu: I think it is a sign we are doing well if my name is being linked with other teams but my focus is on the cup final in two weeks after that we will see but the trophy is my priority.
    Universitatea Craiova wrapped up the league title as they came from behind to hammer Gaz Metan 5-1.

    Gaz Metan took the lead after thirty four minutes when Ely’s corner was headed home by Captain Constantin. Craiova equalised in first half injury time when Stan’s low cross was slotted home at the near post by Cicaldau. Craiova took the lead nine minutes into the second half, Koljic played the ball through for Cicaldau who fired home a vicious strike with his left foot from a tight angle. Craiova made it 3-1 six minutes later when Koljic scored his thirtieth goal of the season after Stan squared the ball to him after being set through by Cicaldau. Craiova were well on their way to the title and made if 4-1 four minutes later a levely one two between Koljic and Cicaldau saw Koljic through on goal and he fired across the keeper into the far corner. Gaz Metan were down to ten men with twelve minutes left when captain Constantin brought down Mihaila from behind recklessly and the referee pointed to the spot and gave the skipper his marching orders, up stepped Koljic who sent the keeper the wrong way.

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    Craiova (4-3-3): Pigliacelli, Matel, Gardos, Balasa, Vatajelu, Mateiu, Cicaldau, Bryne, Stan, Roman, Ivan
    Hermannstadt (4-2-3-1): Cristiano, Nita, Rimane, Viera, Busu, Taira, Rother, Cordea, Caiado, Pires, Yazalde

    Q: An amazing run and you have won the trophy how happy are you?
    Chivu: I am delighted this is an incredible moment for the players, the team and more importantly for the fans. They have supported us so much this season and we couldn’t have done it without them.

    Q: Coming from behind what a moment for Tomas Stan to score his first goal for the club and to win the trophy?
    Chivu: Yeah he has worked really hard since coming into the first team and for him to get the decisive goal is really special especially to think it is his first professional goal as well. He is so talented he has such a bright future if he keeps his head down and keeps working he will be a really good player.

    Q: There has been a lot of speculation regarding your future, Can we expect to see you at Craiova next season?
    Chivu: It has been a great season for me here and I hope to stay here. We have qualified for the Champions League so our next aim is to try to get to the group stage but I feel I will still be here next season yes.

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    Player Stats
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  • DB1512
    467 posts Sunday League Hero
    Congratulations with the domestic double! Incredible first managerial year for Cristian Chivu, will he try to reach the Champions League with Craiova and become back to back champions or maybe try his luck in another league?
  • mihain247
    1515 posts Play-Off Hero
    Foarte frumos !
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
    DB1512 wrote: »
    Congratulations with the domestic double! Incredible first managerial year for Cristian Chivu, will he try to reach the Champions League with Craiova and become back to back champions or maybe try his luck in another league?

    I think it is a tiny bit to early to jump ship. I want to test him in Europe then we will consider a move
  • Stlducks
    2180 posts Fans' Favourite
    Very impressive season, congratulations! I like the choice to stay there one more season and see how you can do in Europe before taking a bigger test.
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
    Stlducks wrote: »
    Very impressive season, congratulations! I like the choice to stay there one more season and see how you can do in Europe before taking a bigger test.

    I think it makes sense as it is a way to get on bigger teams radar if we excel in Europe so we will so how the season progresses. Depending on how many key players we keep we could win the league in more emphatic fashion
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
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    Bosnia striker Elvir Koljic has turned down the chance to play for AFC Bournemouth and signed for Italian side Bologna in a deal worth £14,500,000. The Bosnian international was the top scorer in the Romanian league last season after scoring thirty three goals in thirty eight games as well as registering fourteen assists. The fee is a record fee received by a Romanian side and will likely see Cristian Chivu move for a striker to replace the Bosnian hitman although Chivu does have high hopes for young Portuguese striker Sergio Branco as a replacement.

    Also leaving Craiova is midfielder Andrei Burlacu who has signed for Italian side Cremona in a deal worth £860,000 whilst wingers Gheroghe Prodan and Vasile Constantin have both left the club on season long loans to Chindia and RCD Mallorca whilst right back Stefan Vladoiu has joined Frosinone.

    In terms of new signings Craiova have finally confirmed the arrival of Andres Ricaurte on a free transfer whilst a number of youth players have been promoted to the first team including defender Mircea Popescu (17, CB), midfielders Gheorghe Prodan (16, RM), Mihail Cojocaru (16, CAM) and Cristian Cernea (17, CDM). Prodan has already signed for Chindia on loan but Chivu is hopeful Cojocaru can also find a club to go on loan to with Popescu and Cernea expected to fight for a first team berth. Chivu is also hoping to sell a number of players with record signing Andrei Ivan, striker Mihai Roman, midfielder Ovidiu Bic and defender Tiago Ferreira the highest profile players to be told they are no longer required.
  • DB1512
    467 posts Sunday League Hero
    A big amount of money for Chivu to improve the squad. The team will need a couple signings to make an impact in Europe I think, but maybe also the academy players could give the team a boost.
  • Ashy
    11090 posts Has That Special Something
    Doing well domestically, I'd like to see how far you can take them in Europe that will be the challenge similar to other European leagues when a team does well in their league the big focus is on the European competition
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
    DB1512 wrote: »
    A big amount of money for Chivu to improve the squad. The team will need a couple signings to make an impact in Europe I think, but maybe also the academy players could give the team a boost.

    It was a nice sum but I feel Branco can replace Koljic so we will see where we need to improve.
    Ashy wrote: »
    Doing well domestically, I'd like to see how far you can take them in Europe that will be the challenge similar to other European leagues when a team does well in their league the big focus is on the European competition

    It will be difficult in Europe with a team of seventy rated players but the luck of the draw will decide it. The first qualifying round is up against Olympiacos which is winnable but will be difficult
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
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    Q: Coming into the game both yourselves and Viitorul were seen as two team who could fight for the title. What did you make of the game today?
    Chivu: I think you saw two teams who probably will be fighting at the top of the table come the end of the season but I don’t think either were at there best. It is early in the season so it is difficult but I feel we can perform better then we did today and I think we showed last season we get stronger as the season goes.

    Q: In the end a comfortable win, do you feel it was a game that could have gone either way?
    Chivu: Yes it was a close game and it maybe is harsh they lost by two goals but I feel we defender really well and we broke really quick on the counter. Viitorul are one of the best teams in the league so to bet them is not easy but we did enough I think to deserve the victory that is for sure.

    Q: Your front three were very young today, there is that old cliché you can’t win things with kids. What do you say to people who say that?
    Chivu: I disagree with them, we have three very talented attackers who will cause a lot of top teams problems and they showed today how they can link up together. Valentin (Mihaila) showed last season how good he is and I think towards the end of the season Sergio (Branco) and Tomas (Stan) started to break into the team and have an impact on some big matches. We have lost a lot of goals with Koljic leaving and I feel Sergio can replace him and we will try to bring somebody else in to help him.
    Universitatea Craiova got their defence of the title off to a superb start as they beat Viitorul 4-2 in a thriller of a game.

    Craiova took the lead after eighteen minutes when Jack Byrne played Mihaila through one on one and he slotted the ball into the corner. It should have been 2-0 seven minutes later when Branco played Mihaila through bon goal but this time the winger curled his effort wide. Viitorul almost punished the miss four minutes later when Houri played Artean through on goal but his effort cannoned back off the post. Viitorul did equalise in injury time of the first half de Nooijers low cross was met by Rivaldinho whose initial effort was saved superbly by Pigliacelli but he reacted first to poke the ball past the helpless keeper. Craiova retook the lead seven minutes into the second half a superb ball by Dimarco saw Mihail break down the left his low cross was met by Branco ten yards out who fired past Cojocaru at his near post. It was 3-1 after seventy three minutes when new signing Ricaurte scored a debut goal after a lovely one two with Branco saw him in space in the box. Viitorul did pull a goal back with twelve minutes left when Houri picked the ball up in midfield before slotting it through for Eric who smashed the ball past Pigliacelli. Craiova sealed the point in injury time a superb counter saw Ricaurte play Cicaldau through on goal and he fired with his left foot acrss the keeper.

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    Q: Ivan Martic was shown a straight red card today for his late challenge on Dumitru what are your thoughts on the decision to send him off and how will it impact your squad selection?
    Chivu: We have other right backs at the club who I believe can step up and fight for Ivan’s spot. I didn’t think it was a red card but I understand why he showed red because he was very late but it wasn’t dangerous I think it was a tactical foul but when you are as late as he was the referee has a decision to make this time he decided to show a red.

    Q: We don’t see hat tricks that often these days, what are your thoughts on Sergio Branco’s performance?
    Chivu: It was a perfect performance by him, he had three shots and scored three goals so he showed he can be clinical in front of goal. His link up play is superb he is a different player to Elvir (Koljic) but I think he suits the style more and links up better. I think he is one of if not the best player in the league and he is still so young I think his future is going to be great but he has to stay focused and keep progressing as he is.

    Q: Franco Dimarco scored his first goal for the club with a superb freekick wrapping up the win. How happy are you with the start you’ve made this season?
    Chivu: We are happy to have won twice but we are not happy with certain aspects of our performances. We have conceded four goals and that is a concern because we need to be more solid defensively if we are to win the title. It is early days and we know we will get better as the season progresses but defensively we must improve sooner rather then later or we will be punished

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    Q: Toma Stan has been linked with a move to Burnley in recent days and seemed to wave goodbye at the end. Do you expect him to leave this window?
    Chivu: Yes I believe that this is his final game because we agreed a fee with them today. I played him still because I know he loves the club and would put in the type of performance we expect from him and for him to score on his final appearance if it is I think is the perfect way for him to bow out. He is such a talented young player and to move to the Premier league I feel is a big challenge for him but I wish him luck.

    Q: Coming into the game you were heavy favourites but it was a backs to the wall performance for a lot of the game. What are your thoughts on your teams performance?
    Chivu: It was probably our worst performance of the season so far but we managed to get the three points. We couldn’t get a real grip on the game but we dug in worked as a team and the last fifteen minutes we changed gear and managed to grab the win. I think Alexandru (Cicaldau) was superb a real captain he grabbed the game at 1-1 with eleven minutes left and drove at them and scored that solo goal and then wrapped up the win with the assist for Mihaila.

    Q: We haven’t seen many incoming so far in the window just Ricaurte which was a deal agreed in January. Do you expect to make any signings?
    Chivu: I think we will sign maybe one or two players but still we are trying to make the team smaller. We would like three or four to leave first but we can’t wait around so hopefully this week we can have at least one new player in but we won’t sign a player just for signing someone’s sake we want the right player to join the team.
  • Stlducks
    2180 posts Fans' Favourite
    Great start to the season and good money received. I like all the youth promotions, shows the manager knows how to develop his own players.
  • Ashy
    11090 posts Has That Special Something
    Good results, I'd like to see you stronger at the back though maybe getting more clean sheets, I see the opponents get a lot of shots against you so that is something I'd look at. Attacking is great though
  • DB1512
    467 posts Sunday League Hero
    Great start of the season. The conceded goals might be a reason to splash some cash to reinforce your defence. With eleven goals in three games it seems you don't need a new striker, Branco already made a hattrick and is already on 4 goals so I think you should thrust him to be first striker.
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
    After missing two weeks I will rush through the updates to get upto where we are in the game.

    Champions League We played Olympiacos over 2 legs and won both legs despite being dominated in the second leg with an incredible performance from Pigliacelli. Young defender Popescu and defensive midfielder Circea broke into the team and helped shore the defence up. Whilst midfielder Jack Bryne has been our best player going forwards. We faced Celtic after Olympiacos and again qualified after winning the first leg and drawing the second leg. We were drawn in a group of death with Bayern Munchen, Atletico Madrid and Galatasaray making even Europa League unlikely. In our first group game we faced Bayern at home we put in a good performance bu were beaten 2-0 by the German giants with their new star Havertz scoring a screamer. We bounced back with an outstanding 4-3 win against Galatasaray. Halfway in we lost away to Atletico 2-0 with their new striker Plea scoring twice but it was a positive performance showing we have some quality in the team.

    LeagueThe teams league record is near perfect the only mark on it is the loss to title rivals CFR Cluj game we deserved something out of but the team are showing they can compete whilst playing in Europe.

    TransfersYoungster Toma Stan left the club to join Burnley in a record £18,000,000 deal whilst the club made two signings with Eden Hazards younger brother Kylian joining the team along with striker Montini from rivals Dinamo Bucuresti after his buy out clause was met.

    We are at the beginning of November and are in a strong position in the league sitting top and we are third in a tough group so have a chance at qualifying for the Europa League
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
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  • ElMarcos
    322 posts Sunday League Hero
    Some good results. A tough CL group. Finishing in third place would be an absolute stunner.
  • Stlducks
    2180 posts Fans' Favourite
    The win over Galatasary is huge. Get a point in one of the two remaining games against Bayern and Atletico then I think you can finish 3rd. Europa league would be huge for this club.
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
    ElMarcos wrote: »
    Some good results. A tough CL group. Finishing in third place would be an absolute stunner.

    It is a tough ask if we don't lose to Galatasaray I think we will do it but we hope that they don't get a result vs Atletico or Bayern
    Stlducks wrote: »
    The win over Galatasary is huge. Get a point in one of the two remaining games against Bayern and Atletico then I think you can finish 3rd. Europa league would be huge for this club.

    Theres 3 games but Galatasaray is at home which could be crucial
  • Ashy
    11090 posts Has That Special Something
    That is a very tough UCL group no surprise you didn't beat the two top teams, if you get knockout out to Europa League that won't be a terrible situation, you could potentially go far in that competition
  • DB1512
    467 posts Sunday League Hero
    Normally you could expect Bayern and Atlético to win from Gala, then a draw at home would be enough to secure a EL spot after the holidays. The Galatasaray match is the last one of the campaign isn't it? In that case you know if a draw is enough to become third.
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
    Ashy wrote: »
    That is a very tough UCL group no surprise you didn't beat the two top teams, if you get knockout out to Europa League that won't be a terrible situation, you could potentially go far in that competition

    Europa league is our aim and the win away gave us confidence a draw with Galatasaray should be enough if Atletico and Bayern perform as they should
    DB1512 wrote: »
    Normally you could expect Bayern and Atlético to win from Gala, then a draw at home would be enough to secure a EL spot after the holidays. The Galatasaray match is the last one of the campaign isn't it? In that case you know if a draw is enough to become third.

    Yes Galatasaray at home is the last match in the Campaign a draw will hopefully be enough when we get there just need some favours from Bayern and Atletico
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
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    FC Porto have confirmed they have reached an agreement to sign Universitatea Criaova youngster Sergio Branco in the January transfer window for a Romanian Liga 1 record fee of £22,000,000. The young striker has been impressive for his side this season scoring ten goals and assisting six in just seventeen games and the eighteen year old has put pen to paper on a five year deal with the Portuguese giants who have reportedly beaten Sporting Lisbon and English sides Arsenal and West Ham United to the signing of the young star.

    Chivu said this on his departure "We are sad that Sergio (Branco) will be leaving the team in the January break but we are proud of the player he has become. When Sergio joined the first team we knew he had exceptional talent and now he will get the chance to show his talent in a tougher league and we are all wishing him the best and hope he can show everyone what he can do. He has huge potential I hope he can reach it."
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