Echoes of Romania’s recent defeat conceded to Turkey continue to reverberate in local media. The radiant optimism displayed by Victor Piturca following last Friday’s 3-nil win over Hungary has now faded, leaving room to realism.
The national team coach now believes Romania holds only theoretical chances of qualifying to the World Cup playoffs. Piturca told a press conference on Tuesday.
Victor Piturca: “There’s nothing more we can do right now. We have two more matches left to play and we need 6 points. Unfortunately, our hopes of qualifying are now pinned on the other group results. We hold low chances of qualifying but hope the Netherlands will be playing its last matches at its full potential, although it has already secured qualification”.
Victor Piturca fears that a win for the Turkish side against the Netherlands in the last match played at home would allow Turkey to play in the playoffs, given that their side has a better goal-average than Romania’s.
The bulk of Romanian media highlighted the disgruntlement of fans after the match, calling on Victor Piturca to step down. Piturca’s contract is however tied-up until 2016, and his main objective is to qualify the team to the European Championships that year. If Piturca’s contract is terminated before full term, the Romanian Football Federation will have to cover a very costly early termination clause.
If we look at Romania’s latest results in perspective, we can see that Victor Piturca did manage to rebuild the national squad. He brought in a new generation of players, whose main stars Alexandru Maxim, Cristian Tanase, Alexandru Bourceanu, Vlad Chiriches and Mihai Pintilii have already blended into the first squad.
On the other hand striker Bogdan Stancu and midfielder Ovidiu Hoban have put on disappointing performances and have shown they are yet to earn Piturca’s trust. Among more experienced players, Cristian Marica and Razvan Rat are most likely to remain on the substitute bench from now on, as their physical abilities would eventually prevent them to keep up with a rhythm of two matches in four days. Nevetheless, they remain key players in the Romanian team, adding increased value to the first lineup.