József Szabó has been appointed FC Dynamo Kyiv coach after Anatoliy Demyanenko resigned in the wake of Wednesday's UEFA Champions League defeat by AS Roma.
The Ukrainian double winners slumped to a 2-0 loss in the Italian capital in their opening Group F encounter, prompting Demyanenko to bring a highly successful two-year spell to an end. "This team has great potential but right now it needs fresh ideas and unity," Szabó said on Thursday. "It is important that the players take responsibility and, despite our loss in Rome, we must still aim to reach the knockout phase."
Former Soviet Union defender Demyanenko made the announcement after holding emergency talks with Dynamo president Igor Surkis, who later expressed his regret at the decision. "I understand Demyanenko's request," Surkis said. "It was a hard decision for him. But he convinced me that this decision has been well thought through and so I have accepted it. We are thankful to Demyanenko for everything he has done in the last two seasons."
'A real professional'
Having guided Dynamo to victory in the Ukrainian Cup in 2005/06, Demyanenko repeated the feat as well as clinching the league title last term. His successor Szabó is no stranger to the club, having already enjoyed three spells as coach. Of the 67-year-old former Ukraine boss, Surkis said: "He needs no introduction. He's a real professional and has helped the club at critical times in the past. We haven't forgotten that and we hope he will be successful with us again." Dynamo, who are third in the Ukrainian top flight after nine matches, take on Sporting Clube de Portugal in Kiev in their next UEFA Champions League fixture on 2 October.
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