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Dumitrescu defends Reds rotation

Image: Dumitrescu: Tough test

Steaua Bucharest boss Ilie Dumitrescu will take no offence if Liverpool rest their star men on Thursday.

Steaua boss will understand if Hodgson rests Torres and Gerrard

Steaua Bucharest boss Ilie Dumitrescu will take no offence if Liverpool rest their star men on Thursday. The Romanian outfit are at Anfield on Thursday night for the start of the Europa League group stages. They are aware that they face a tough test on Merseyside regardless of who the Reds decide to field, with Roy Hodgson working with a star-studded squad. With that in mind, Dumitrescu claims he would not find it disrespectful were Liverpool to omit the likes of Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres from their starting XI. "I don't think so," he said. "Even if Stevie Gerrard and Torres do not play the other players are important - Joe Cole, David Ngog, Milan Jovanovic all played against Arsenal (on the opening day of the season). "We are not under-estimated, Liverpool have a very important game against Manchester United (on Sunday). "It will be an important game and we are going to meet a very strong team."

Tradition

Dumitrescu knows all about Liverpool's strength, having taken in spells at Tottenham and West Ham during his playing days, and believes the Reds should be considered strong candidates to go all the way in continental competition. He added: "The best part of my career was here in the Premier League. I know the British mentality and I know Liverpool is a club of tradition. "We are looking forward to the game. We will try our best but I didn't come here to defend. "I've come here with a team of young players but I trust in their capacity. "In my opinion we have a very strong group, a group which could easily be in the Champions League. Liverpool are favourites in this group, by far."

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