Slutsky takes over Russia`s national squad

Slutsky takes over Russia`s national squad

Russia`s football authorities announced Friday they had appointed CSKA Moscow head coach Leonid Slutsky as the country`s national team manager, filling a void left by the sacking of Italian Fabio Capello. 

"The RFU and Slutsky have concluded a contract until the end of the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign," the Russian Football Union (RFU) said in a statement.

"The deal provides the holding by Slutsky of two jobs simultaneously: the post of national team`s manager and CSKA Moscow head coach."

The 44-year-old Slutsky, who had coached Uralan Elista, FC Moscow and Samara before taking over CSKA in 2009, has won two Premiership titles (in 2013 and 2014) and two national cups (in 2011 and 2013) with the Red Army side.

"We`ve repeatedly stated that only a Russian coach should take over the national squad in this situation," Russia`s sports minister Vitaly Mutko said.

"Taking into consideration the successful and effective work that Slutsky has performed with CSKA, I consider him to be the coach who is capable of leading the national squad into the Euro 2016 finals.

"This is a deliberate decision which has been approved by all the parties concerned."

However, the mission of leading Russia into next year`s European Championship finals looks a daunting task.

Russia have just two wins to their name from six matches in qualifying Group G -- a 4-0 home victory over Liechtenstein last September before being awarded a 3-0 victory from the abandoned clash against Montenegro in Podgorica in March.

They have been held at home by minnows Moldova and suffered two defeats to group leaders Austria. 

The poor run of results finally pushed the country`s authorities to fork out the millions of euros in compensation needed to tear up their contract with ex-England coach Fabio Capello. 

Russia are third in the group with four matches to go, meaning their place at Euro 2016 in France this time next year is far from secure as only the best third-placed side from the nine groups will qualify automatically, along with the top two sides from each section, while the other third-placed finishers go into the play-offs.

Slutky said he couldn`t evade the responsibility.

"Taking into account the difficult situation in which our national squad currently is, I just couldn`t reject this offer," Slutsky told the R-Sport agency.

"To be in charge of the national squad is a great honour and a serious responsibility. Of course, it`s a difficult task but I`m pleased with the RFU`s trust in me."

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