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Jankauskas confirmed at Lithuania helm

Former Porto striker Edgaras Jankauskas has been confirmed as Lithuania coach for 2018 qualifying and said: "I will strive to help the players become better everywhere."

Edgaras Jankauskas discusses his appointment
Edgaras Jankauskas discusses his appointment ©Valdas Knyzelis

Former Porto striker Edgaras Jankauskas has been confirmed as Lithuania coach for 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying.

Jankauskas, 40, takes charge following the departure of Igoris Pankratjevas after Lithuania's fifth-placed UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying Group E finish on ten points. His first games will be against Estonia on 29 May and against Latvia three days later in the Baltic Cup, before a 6 June friendly with Poland.

"I will strive to help the players become better everywhere – in training, playing for their clubs and with the national team," he said. "My responsibility is to channel their abilities in the right way and to motivate them to perform at their best."

Jankauskas's only previous head coaching experience was with Lithuanian top-flight side Trakai although he did previously work as assistant for the national team, his former club Hearts and Lokomotiv Moskva. As a player he was part of the Porto squad that won the 2003 UEFA Cup and 2004 UEFA Champions League as well as several domestic honours under José Mourinho.

His playing career, which ran from 1991 to 2011, also took him to Russia, Belgium, Spain, France, Scotland, Cyprus, Latvia and the United States. Jankauskas was capped more than 50 times by Lithuania.

Lithuania are in FIFA World Cup qualifying Group F alongside England, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Malta.