Dragan Stojković, the president of the Football Association of Serbia and Montenegro (FSSCG), has said that he hopes the country's new national coach will be installed in a month's time.
The previous incumbent, Dejan Savićević, resigned on Wednesday after Serbia and Montenegro lost 2-1 in Azerbaijan - the team's second UEFA EURO 2004™ Group 9 qualifying defeat in five days, which virtually ended their hopes of reaching the Portugal finals. "Savićević's departure was a moral gesture," Stojković said. "He understood that he could not succeed.
Dejan Savićević is a great man and he will continue helping us.
"We will begin a series of meetings in the FA immediately with the goal of analysing all that we achieved so far and finding a way to elect a new coach," Stojković continued. "Then we will put together a list of candidates and start interviews as soon as possible. In a month's time we should announce the name of the coach [to whom] we will entrust the job.
Foreign coaches considered
"If necessary, we will also consider a foreign coach," Stojković added. "[The current FK Partizan coach] Lothar Matthäus has brought something new to this region. The financial aspect is a problem, but we will find the means. The new coach will finish the group qualifiers with dignity, but his primary job will be to take Serbia and Montenegro to the 2006 [FIFA] World Cup finals in Germany."
Older players to depart
Stojković also said that the departure of older players from the squad was "inevitable" and that turning to youth was a "strategic plan". "At the moment we don't have the quality for Europe," he continued. "We have to be realistic about that. The domestic championship is weak.
Our understanding of football is so different from the rest of Europe where style does not mean anything compared to strength, speed and endurance. When we understand that, we will be able to find our deserved place."
Although he has resigned as coach, Savićević will remain as president of the Football Association of Montenegro (FSCG) and vice-president of the FSSCG.
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