CFR Cluj boss Dan Petrescu disappointed with domestic rivals ahead of Celtic match

By David Walton

December 4, 2019

CFR Cluj boss Dan Petrescu has hit out at Romanian rivals Botosani for potentially not wanting to postpone their match on Sunday.

In recent days, the wily tactician has been asking for help from the Romanian FA to ensure his squad are in peak condition to face Celtic (DigiSport). Cluj need to get a point from the game against us in order to qualify for the Europa League last-32. Should they lose, they’ll then have to hope that Lazio don’t beat Rennes.

In the run-up to the game, Cluj face Sepsi tonight and then Botosani on Sunday. That leaves Petrescu with just four days to prepare for the hotly-anticipated meeting with Neil Lennon’s side.

Dan Petrescu isn’t happy with his side’s schedule (Alex Nicodim/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

So far, he hasn’t managed to get his wish of having one game postponed in the run-up. And speaking to DigiSport, he aimed a dig at this weekend’s opponents for apparently not wanting to give Cluj a helping hand.

“From what I understand from my leaders, they took steps to postpone the match against Botosani. But I am told that those from Botosani do not agree, although in my opinion it should’ve been a decision made by the league to make the right decision for Romanian football.

“You realise, four days before Celtic, we have to play in the snow in Botosani. I cannot only play with players who don’t play (regularly), because it is not logical. I have to think about the Championship and European cups.

“If the match is going to play and I think it’s going to be played, I’ll treat the match with 100% and try to win it. If it is true, if the people of Botosani do not want it (postponement), it means that this is not right.”

Petrescu going over the top here

If you want to be a successful team, these are the kinds of challenges you’re going to face. Celtic, for example, have a total of nine games over the course of December. Neil Lennon hasn’t once had a go at the idea either.

Neil Lennon’s Celtic have a grueling fixture list of their own (Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Petrescu should also perhaps check our own fixture list before he gets too upset. We have a mouth-watering clash with Rangers on Sunday in the Betfred Cup final. Where Cluj has the luxury of resting a key player or two in Botosani, Lennon can’t afford to do the same.

It’s then Celtic who have to make the journey over to Romania as opposed to the other way around. Cluj still have the advantage when it comes to pre-match prep.

We should perhaps take it as a compliment that Petrescu feels the need to be so uptight about this. It’s clear he sees Celtic as a real danger to his side next Thursday, regardless of the fact we have nothing more than pride to play for.

Lennon and Petrescu will go at it one more time next week (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

However, could you imagine if this was the other way around? Would Celtic be able to get a game postponed in order to play this match on Thursday? Absolutely no chance.

Petrescu simply needs to start working with the hand he’s been dealt with. Ultimately, his club will never be successful if three games in a week kicks up this kind of a fuss.