78 days to go to the AFC Asian Cup, UAE 2019

Russia hope Cherchesov will inject winning ways in time for 2018 showcase

August 12 – Russia’s search for a winning national coach to prepare the team for the 2018 World Cup has ended with the appointment for former international goalkeeper Stanislav Cherchesov (pictured).

The 52-year-old has signed a contract until August 1, 2018, in other words until just after the tournament.

Russian Football Union President Vitaly Mutko said: “There were four candidates to choose from Cherchesov, Kurban Berdyev, Sergei Semak and Alexander Borodyuk.”

“We spoke with all of them. We came to the decision that Cherchesov fits the criteria best of all.”

Leonid Slutskiy resigned after the country’s woeful campaign at Euro 2016 where they finished bottom of their group and failed to qualify for the knockout stages, prompting widespread criticism and heaping even more pressure on the World Cup hosts to find the  right man.

Cherchesov has coached a number of clubs in his home country, including Spartak Moscow and Dynamo Moscow. He took over as manager of Legia Warsaw in October, 2015 and helped the club win the Polish league and Cup double last season.

Cherchesov’s first match in charge will be a friendly against Turkey on August 31 in Antalya. Being the hosts, Russia of course don’t need to qualify but the new man is taking a realistic stance.

“It would be frivolous to set ourselves the goal of winning the 2018 World Cup,” he said. “The task at the moment is to create a competitive environment within the team and to give the players the opportunity to show their capabilities as well as trying to assess them and their opponents.”

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