"We need to move forward all the time," said Stanislav Cherchesov with FC Dinamo Moskva hoping PFC CSKA Moskva's 2005 UEFA Cup win can inspire them to glory.
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PFC CSKA Moskva's 2005 UEFA Cup success is inspiring FC Dinamo Moskva as the club of the legendary Lev Yashin look to write a notable new chapter in the UEFA Europa League.
The first Soviet champions in 1936, Dinamo reached the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final in 1972, but have not won a national league title since 1976. However, Stanislav Cherchesov has a vision for the club, who have won their first five Group E games and could become only the sixth side to make it through a UEFA Europa League group stage with a 100% record if they beat PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands on Thursday.
Inspired by Dinamo's motto 'Strength in Movement', former FC Spartak Moskva goalkeeper Cherchesov is determined to keep the club on the move on all fronts. "If we finished in a certain position [in the league one year], we need to aim higher," he said. "This year we're playing in the Europa League, so movement forward would mean playing in the UEFA Champions League [next season]. We need to move forward all the time."
With foreign stars like Kevin Kuranyi, Balázs Dzsudzsák, Christopher Samba and Mathieu Valbuena on their roster, Cherchesov's primary aim for the season is to improve on last term's third-placed finish in the league. "I am convinced that we can [succeed]," he said. "We have the opportunities – you can see our foundations – and we have a firm financial footing. We have developed a formula for success for ourselves so we'll just stick to it and go ahead."
The positive results in Europe so far suggest that Dinamo are on the right path. Indeed Russia forward Aleksandr Kokorin, who has registered twice in four European outings this term, believes his side are strong enough to reach the UEFA Europa League final. "Our example has long been CSKA Moskva, who won this competition [in 2005] and everyone saw that," he said. "So, with that in mind, we'll continue to play to our strengths."
While his side are certain to finish top of Group E, the 23-year-old Kokorin knows Dinamo cannot slack off in their final fixture of the year. "The target was set by the management: win every game," he said. It is that consistency of approach that the 51-year-old Cherchesov hopes will allow him to emulate the longevity of distinguished coaches he admires. "I like how Arsène Wenger works and Jürgen Klopp from Borussia Dortmund," he explained.
Dinamo coach since April 2014, Cherchesov has not been overawed by managing a club with such a distinguished history, and does not doubt that he can continue to guide Dinamo to better things. "If you treat your job appropriately then there is no difference which club you are coaching and what traditions they have," he said. "I try to give as much as I can, so that wherever I work – and by the way, this has always happened – the team reaches a new, higher level."