Dušan Uhrin Jr has taken charge of UEFA Europa League contenders FC Viktoria Plzeň, replacing Pavel Vrba who has left to coach the Czech Republic national team.
The 46-year-old Uhrin – whose father Dušan Uhrin Sr is also a respected coach – has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with the Czech champions. He said: "I was offered a contract a month ago when it was announced Pavel Vrba was leaving, and I knew immediately I would be happy to work with Viktoria. I do not want to say it is a hard challenge because the team have been well set up and are in excellent condition. Pavel achieved incredible things with this club and it makes sense that he was chosen for the national side."
Having coached Bohemians 1905, FK Mladá Boleslav, FC Timişoara, CFR 1907 Cluj and AEL Limassol FC, Uhrin comes to Plzeň after winning last season's Georgian title with FC Dinamo Tbilisi. He now wants to have another crown to celebrate next summer. "I really want to win the Czech title," he said. "Viktoria have a lot of success behind them and I firmly believe that more lies ahead. At every club I have coached, we have played attractive, attacking football, and I would like to keep that going. My philosophy is very similar to Pavel Vrba's." His new squad lie second in the Czech First League, five points behind leaders AC Sparta Praha.
With the Czech season having entered its winter break, Uhrin Jr will make his coaching debut for Plzeň in the UEFA Europa League round of 32, where his side have a tough tie against FC Shakhtar Donetsk. "It will be straight after the winter break, so it will be hard for both teams," said Uhrin. "Shakhtar have a Romanian coach [Mircea Lucescu] who I know very well and they play attacking football. Though their results away are not that good, it will be a hard start. We have to make every effort to get a win in the first leg."
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