Champions League: Frank Lampard recognises Steaua Bucharest threat
Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard has vowed they will not take Steaua Bucharest lightly in the Champions League.
Last Updated: 01/10/13 10:53am
Jose Mourinho's side will be keen to bounce back from their opening Group E defeat at home to Basel but they face a tough test on a rain-sodden pitch at the National Arena in the Romanian capital.
Chelsea lost to Steaua on their way to winning last season's Europa League and Lampard is keen to avoid a repeat performance as they look to reignite their European campaign.
"You can never underestimate any team in the Champions League," he said.
"In the first game we didn't perform well, we lost. That's what happens.
"(But) we've got five games now to go, five games to put that right. That's a lot.
"We don't expect an easy game. We're lucky to have played Steaua Bucharest last season so we're fully aware of the good team they are. Last year we started slowly and we lost the game in the first half.
"Considering the position we're in now - we need a result - we have to start the game at a top level."
Mourinho, too, appeared keen to take care of matters swiftly on the eve of the contest, as he shortened his pre-match media conference.
The Portuguese took exception to a question about absent forward Kevin de Bruyne.
With Juan Mata informed he will start in Bucharest after beginning the season as a peripheral figure, De Bruyne was told he was not required and was left at home alongside his fellow Belgian Eden Hazard, who has an ankle injury.
"This is fantastic because nobody asks me about Mata," Mourinho said. "You are for three weeks speaking about Mata, and now you are speaking about Kevin de Bruyne.
"So you are not interested in the players that are playing? You are interested in the players that are not playing.
"He was not selected. It was my decision. Only 11 can play and 18 can be selected."