Protasov ready for Dnipro challenge

Former USSR international striker Oleg Protasov has signed a three-and-a-half year contract as FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk's new head coach.

High hopes
The 41-year-old has signed a three-and-a-half year contract. Protasov, who ended a short but successful stint at FC Steaua Bucuresti last week, told a press conference he now intends to end FC Dynamo Kyiv and FC Shakhtar Donetsk's duopoly in the Ukrainian Premier League.

First job
"I would like to see Dnipro regain their prominent position in Ukrainian soccer," he said. "My aim is to go out and win every match, starting from the very first one. As a coach, my job will be to show we can take on Dynamo and Shakhtar."

Fresh challenge
It will be a daunting challenge for Protasov, with Dnipro languishing in ninth place, 28 points behind leaders Dynamo. But the well-travelled coach says he is keen to start working with players he has only seen on video so far. "I will have to adapt to the players because I have not coached in Ukraine before," Protasov said.

Successful career
According to Dnipro, Protasov will be the best-paid coach in the Premier League. He led Olympiacos CFP to the Greek title last term and took Steaua to the UEFA Cup Round of 32 as group winners this season. He also had a spell at Cypriot outfit AEL Limassol FC.