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Ferna: We must respect Steaua

FERNA FOCUS: Midfielder has experience of playing in Romania

FERNA FOCUS: Midfielder has experience of playing in Romania

Fernandinho has urged his City team-mates to respect Steaua Bucharest’s rich football history when the teams meet in the Champions League play-off tie.

The Romanian side have struggled to make an impact in Europe’s elite club competition in recent seasons, but were crowned winners back in 1986 and have a bulging trophy cabinet thanks to sustained domestic success down the years.

That pedigree makes manager Laurentiu Reghecampf’s men a dangerous proposition, according to City’s Brazilian ace.

The 31-year-old cautioned: “They have won the Champions League before. They have a big history behind them and have won several trophies and we really need to respect that and be cautious about that.”

Fernandinho said the team would be approaching the two-legged tie – the return takes place at the Etihad Stadium next Wednesday – like a final.

And from experience with his former team Shakhtar Donetsk, Fernandinho knows just how difficult playing in Romania can be.

"Without a shadow of a doubt play-offs are usually just finals," he declared.

“But we are aware we have 180 minutes to play and we will try to impose our game and give everything to win.

“I have played there before and actually lost against a team in Romania – in the same stage of the Champions League in 2009 and (Costel) Pantilimon was part of that team (Timosoara).

“I’ve played some friendlies as well and one thing I can say is that they are very aggressive and they are very fast, especially in attack, with long balls and using the flanks.”

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