Lothar Matthaeus Makes Debut as Bulgaria Coach in CardiffSports | October 8, 2010, Friday // 11:40| views
Bulgarian national soccer team coach Lothar Matthaeus gestures during a training session of the Bulgarian national soccer team in the town of Pravec, Bulgaria on 04 October 2010. Bulgaria meets Wales team on 8 Oct. Photo by EPA/BGNES
The Bulgarian football team is hoping to score a crucial victory in its Friday's European Championship qualifier against Wales in Cardiff, which will mark Lothar Matthaeus debut as its coach.
He was quite diplomatic last night when pressed on Bulgaria's chances of qualifying from Group G, where it is at the bottom with zero points.
"England are No 1, but I don't see any differences between the other four in the group," the coach said.
Bulgaria, who kicked off Group G with back-to-back defeats by England and Montenegro, face Wales before a friendly against Saudi Arabia in Istanbul on 12 October.
Lothar Matthaeus surprisingly left Parma striker Valeri Bojinov and Sanfrecce Hiroshima defender Iliyan Stoyanov out of the squad for Friday's Euro 2012 qualifier.
The move is surprising as Bojinov was expected to be the key player Lothar Matthaeus will rely on after failing to convince Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov to return to the squad.
"I know my decision was a surprise for all of you. I left Valeri out of the squad because he is not in good shape. He agreed with me and promised me to do all he can to restore my trust in him," Matthaeus commented.
The team has also defensive problems following the injury withdrawals of Zhivko Milanov and Veselin Minev, but this does not seem to worry the German coach.
"It is a pity that things turned out this way, but we'll do the best we can with the players available. I want to rely only on players who are completely healthy and this is why these were not included in the line-up," he said.
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