Albanian Cup holders KS Besa are hoping it will be all right on the night as they prepare to kick off their UEFA Cup first qualifying round tie at FK Bežanija under a new coach.
The Kavaja-based side started their preparations for the new campaign with a training camp in Mavrova, F.Y.R. Macedonia, just days after president Nexhat Bizhdili hired a new coach in Silviu Dumitrescu. "Silvio is the perfect fit for our team and I'm confident he will do well to lead our squad in the UEFA Cup and in our domestic campaign," said Bizhdili.
'A tough test'
Others are not so convinced. Romanian Dumitrescu was dismissed earlier this season by another Albanian club, KS Apolonia, and has a major task ahead as his side travel to their Serbian opponents before the return on 2 August. Captain Alban Dragusha, who has been struggling with injury, said: "Serbian sides play good football and it will be a tough test. Not necessarily impossible, but difficult."
Changes of coach have been frequent at Besa in recent years with Bizhdili showing his willingness to play with fire as he dismissed Vasil Bici just three days before the Albanian Cup final success that earned his side their place in Europe. Ylli Teliti took charge for the decisive 3-2 victory against neighbours KS Teuta in May.
The club have made a number of summer signings as they look to give Europe their best shot, with goalkeeper Suat Zendeli arriving along with Ardian Nuhiu, the youngest brother of Besa's star striker Arben Nuhiu, who played for KS Dinamo Tirana last season. "Of course, it's better to play together than against each other," explained the younger Nuhiu.
Now Dumitrescu must ensure the whole team is primed to play together in Belgrade tonight. "We don't know much about our opponents but we will do our best to reach the next round," said Bizhdili. "We think we have what it takes to achieve our goal of reaching the next round." If that happens, his latest shock change of coach may yet be regarded as a stroke of genius.
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