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KuPS quest for Malinen

Myllykosken Pallo-47 coach Juha Malinen has agreed to take over at Finnish rivals KuPS Kuopio in November.

November move
Malinen, who has been with MyPa for six years, said: "I'm moving to Kuopio in November, but until then I will do my best for MyPa. I'm convinced we have a chance of getting through to the second round of the UEFA Cup."

Tricky trip
Last season's Veikkausliiga runners-up, MyPa face a tricky trip to French side FC Sochaux Montbéliard in the UEFA Cup first round, as they trail 1-0 from the home leg. Meanwhile, on the domestic front, they have dropped eight points in the last three league games, a run which has ended their title hopes.

Basement battle
KuPS's situation is far more bleak. With two league matches remaining, the Kuopio club are rock bottom and two points adrift of FC KooTeePee, who have a game in hand and currently occupy the relegation play-off place.

'Terrific challenge'
"It's possible that KuPS will be relegated," conceded 45-year-old Malinen, who has signed a two-year deal with an additional one-year option. "Relegation or not, we have to build a team which can do well in the Veikkausliiga. There's plenty of tradition in Kuopio and it's a terrific challenge for me to take KuPS back to the top of Finnish football."