Out of Contention, Bulgaria Prepares for Last Qualifying Match

Sports | November 19, 2007, Monday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0
Bulgaria: Out of Contention, Bulgaria Prepares for Last Qualifying Match Despite winning 1-0 against neighbours Romania, who had already qualified for the tournament, Bulgaria's Wednesday match is clouded by doubt over the future of manager Dimitar Penev (pictured). Photo by Nadya Kotseva (Sofia Photo Agency)

Holland's win over Luxembourg quashed the last hopes Bulgaria had of qualifying for next year's European football championship in Austria and Switzerland, rendering the clash with Slovenia an empty affair.

Despite winning 1-0 against neighbours Romania, who had already qualified for the tournament, Bulgaria's Wednesday match is clouded by doubt over the future of manager Dimitar Penev.

Penev was brought back to the helm of the team in summer, when no other manager has shown interest in the job, while the Bulgarian FA chose not to employ a foreign coach, fearing it could not afford to do so.

Despite failing to guide the team to the European championship final tournament, Penev, who oversaw Bulgaria's last training session on Monday before the team leaves for Slovenia, could still stay on, although he refused to comment on the issue.

"You are sick of asking me whether I'll stay as national manager, but I am doubly sick," an irate Penev told reporters after training.

He is expected to make two changes to his starting line-up on Wednesday, replacing young fullbacks Zanev and Milanov, who failed to impress against Romania on Saturday.

"Even though we have no chance of qualifying, we should play our best to show our quality. But we have to be more careful in defence, because we made a lot of mistakes [against Romania], though, thankfully, we didn't pay for them," Penev said.
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