After opening the 2012/13 season with three straight defeats under Sergei Silkin, a change of coach has brought an upturn in fortunes for FC Dinamo Moskva, who are enjoying a five-game Russian Premier League winning streak under Dan Petrescu.
"Petrescu arrived in August when Dinamo had no points," Oleg Terekhin, Dinamo's all-time leading scorer in the league, told UEFA.com. "Since then they have improved and beaten some top sides including PFC CSKA Moskva and FC Zenit St Petersburg. It is like the difference between day and night. Dinamo have 30 points now and despite being in ninth place are just two points off fourth."
The situation is not an unfamiliar one. Former Dinamo defender Silkin had himself replaced Miodrag Božović in April 2011 and prompted a notable turnaround, guiding the team to a fourth-place finish and a Russian Cup final. Dinamo were lauded for their attractive style and sat among the pacesetters, only for results to eventually tail off. However, the capital club were, once more, swift to act when the rot set in this summer, installing Petrescu on a three-year deal in August following his successful two-year stint at FC Kuban Krasnodar.
"There are no stars for Petrescu, no team leaders, no irreplaceable players," added Terekhin of the one-time FC Rapid Bucureşti, Wisła Kraków and FC Unirea Urziceni manager. "I presume he spoke to the players and they understood him. They have been transformed and have started to play as well as they can. Aleksandr Kokorin has opened up, Kevin Kuranyi has begun scoring goals again, and Ivan Solovyev has been called up from the reserves. Everybody is performing and working hard on the pitch."
According to Terekhin, 45-year-old former Romania right-back Petrescu has also changed his ways: "After several bans for his behaviour on the touchline, he is calmer. Only the newcomers have flattered to deceive: Croatian defender Gordon Schildenfeld, Dutch midfielder Otman Bakkal and Austrian winger Jakob Jantscher. So far, only Jantscher has shown himself to be at this club's level. I understand they arrived before Petrescu, it was not his decision to sign them.
"Petrescu has restored the team to their natural level, so I am sure Dinamo will finish in the top five," the 42-year-old concluded. "Moreover, they can easily fight for fourth place, though I think the top three is already decided: CSKA, FC Anji Makhachkala and Zenit will compete for the title."
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