Bulgarian title contenders PFC CSKA Sofia have appointed former Romanian international Ioan Andone as coach after parting company with Luboslav Penev on Thursday – just a day before the planned resumption of training following the winter break.
Andone, 49, signed a one-and-a-half-year deal on Sunday and targeted UEFA Champions League qualification as his main priority. "It is a great honour for me to be at CSKA Sofia," said the former FC Dinamo 1948 Bucureşti and CFR 1907 Cluj coach. "It's natural for a club like CSKA Sofia to aim high and our target is the UEFA Champions League."
The club board opted for change after an emergency meeting, despite CSKA losing just twice in their opening 15 A PFG games this season. Their form immediately before the break was less impressive, a sequence of five points in as many outings leaving the capital club four adrift of PFC Litex Lovech at the summit. Penev actually had an offer of resignation rejected at the beginning of November following a 3-1 UEFA Europa League defeat by FC Basel 1893 – they went on to finish bottom of Group E – but his turbulent 12-month spell is now over.
The new coach will be able to call on four new signings. Erstwhile Romanian internationals Florentin Petre and Daniel Pancu have arrived from FC Terek Grozny on 18-month contracts, the former returning to CSKA after a year and a half with the Russian side. Macedonian international defender Igor Mitreski has also joined the Army Men, from FC Energie Cottbus, with PFC Pirin Blagoevgrad midfielder Boris Galchev completing the quartet.
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