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Monday, 19 June, 2000, 14:13 GMT 15:13 UK
Romanians expect an early homecoming
Romania fans
Romania fans put on a brace face at Euro 2000
While the mood among the football watchers of England has ebbed and flowed to the rythmn of the team's results, it has stayed pretty much on an even keel in Romania.

For England fans there were the downs after Portugal and the ups after Germany. In Romania it has been downs all along the way.

The negative tactics of coach Emerich Jenei have come under heavy criticism and there is a general resignation to the fact that the team is too old, too slow and too devoid of any attacking prowess.

Romania drew with Germany in a match they should have wrapped up by half time and then lost in the fourth minute of injury time against Portugal.

Return

It means Romania will return home unless they beat England and Germany do not win by more against Portugal.

Stefan Alecsiu, a reporter for Radio Romania in Bucharest, admitted the nation was hardly gripped by Euro 2000 fever.

"There is a very pessimistic atmosphere about the tournament now," he said.

"England won on Saturday so they have the best chance and even if we do win, there is almost the expectancy that we won't match Germany because Portugal do not have to play too hard."


Gheorghe Hagi
Hagi: End of an era
Romania have been regular participants at the major tournaments since 1990 but with basically the same players at the core ot the team.

Era

The feelings in Romania, said Alecsiu, is that Tuesday evening will mark the end of an era.

"We need a change of generation and that will probably start after the England match," he said.

"Gheorghe Hagi is considererd a hero in Romania but he will stand down as will a few others like Petrescu and Popescu. It will be a long rebuilding process but we need the younger generation to come through now."

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See also:

19 Jun 00 | Romania
Petrescu in Hagi pledge
18 Jun 00 | Romania
Hagi looks for another chance
19 Jun 00 | Euro2000
Crunch game dilemma for Keegan
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