Signing ex-Liverpool striker Florent Sinama-Pongolle and loaning Tottenham Hotspur winger David Bentley is part of a plan to drag Russian side FC Rostov out of obscurity, the team’s president Sergei Gorban said Thursday.
Previously little-known Rostov have now assembled a squad that combines Bentley and Sinama-Pongolle, both signed last week, with proven talents such as Croatia goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa and Cameroon right-back Benoit Angbwa.
“In our squad players have appeared who have played in the Champions League, tasted victory, played on the pitches of England, France, Europe, Africa. I’m convinced they have something to show,” Gorban said.
Former Dynamo Moscow coach Miodrag Bozovic has been given three years to lift the team away from perennial relegation scraps in the Russian Premier League, Gorban said.
“We hope that in three years, making targeted changes to the squad, we’ll lift our team up and stop being the sort of football club that was fighting for survival in last season’s results.”
Rostov’s performances so far this season have yet to match these lofty aspirations, with the team winning just one of their seven games so far.
Bozovic’s men are 13th of 16 teams in the league, two points above the relegation zone.
They next host Bozovic’s old team Dynamo, who are bottom of the league, on Sunday.