March 24, 2015 / 8:57 AM / 4 years ago

Soccer-CSKA Sofia appoint Ivanov as temporary head coach

SOFIA, March 24 (Reuters) - CSKA Sofia have appointed an inexperienced Galin Ivanov as the head coach on a temporary basis, the 31-times Bulgarian champions announced on Tuesday.

Ivanov, 39, replaces fan favourite Stoycho Mladenov who quit on Friday after the team’s three successive defeats, saying he doesn’t feel the support of the club’s shareholders.

Former CSKA defender Ivanov, tasked primarily with igniting CSKA’s misfiring attack, has never previously coached a senior club and has only been in charge of several CSKA’s youth formations.

CSKA are second in the Bulgarian league with 45 points from 23 matches, three behind Ludogorets, who won the title in the last three years.

CSKA visit Ludogorets on April 4 in Ivanov’s debut.

Ivanov, who played at CSKA between 1996 and 2003, will have to deal with a demanding and impatient fan base as he attempts to guide The Reds to their first league title since 2008.

“I hope that the team will develop in a positive direction,” CSKA’s chief executive Alexander Todorov told reporters. “It’s true that he lacks experience but there’s great enthusiasm.”

Ivanov will be assisted by another ex-CSKA player - former Bulgaria striker Vladimir Manchev.

CSKA, founded in 1948 as an army club, are one of the two most popular clubs in the Balkan country alongside bitter city rivals Levski Sofia. (Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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