Leonid Kuchuk may have led FC Sheriff to six successive Divizia Nationala titles before leaving his post earlier this month but his successor Andrey Sosnitski is adamant the club must "aim for better results".
Last year was the most successful in the Tiraspol outfit's history as they won a domestic double and made their debut in the UEFA Europa League group stage, making Kuchuk's decision to part ways with the club all the more surprising. Sosnitski, however, is no stranger to Sheriff having worked as his predecessor's assistant. "It all happened very quickly," said the new incumbent. "Only a few days passed after Kuchuk had left the club until I was asked to take the helm."
Sosnitski is the third Belarussian coach to have assumed the reins at Sheriff, with the club taking its first steps in European competition under Sergei Borovskoi in the 1998/98 campaign. Compatriot Kuchuk has been in charge for the last six years while fellow countryman Vitali Rashkevich is reserve-team coach.
Sosnitski began his coaching career in 1999 having been a player in Belarus and Russia and made the move to Tiraspol after learning his trade at FC Dinamo Brest and FC Slavia Mozyr. "I fully understand the responsibility I've taken," he said of his new post. "Today the club has significantly raised the bar and we need to maintain it at a high level. Moreover, we need to aim for better results. I'm aware of the board's expectations, but I also know the abilities of all the players, so it'll be easier for me to explain my vision and requirements. My first goal is to be clear who will be the players that will meet all the challenges during the spring."
Taste of Europe
These challenges are evident with the Divizia Nationala leaders just two points ahead of FC Iskra-Stali and FC Dacia Chişinău. Throw in the continuation of their Moldovan Cup campaign and the prospect of another chance in Europe and Sosnitski's task is plain to see. Sheriff were defeated by Olympiacos FC in this season's UEFA Champions League play-offs and subsequently failed to progress from UEFA Europa League Group H but their new coach knows full well that the club's supporters have acquired a taste for European competition.
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