Stoichkov promises discipline at CSKA Sofia

New CSKA Sofia coach Hristo Stoichkov is determined to instill hard work and discipline and limit the use of mobile phones and social networking at his former club, he said on Wednesday.

"I can promise the fans discipline," Stoichkov told reporters at the Bulgarska Armiya stadium where he was officially presented. "It'll be more difficult for the players during the week as they should give their best in training, not only in matches.

"You know that I'm something of a perfectionist and I'll do everything possible for the good of the club but the players must understand they should work hard in every single training session."

Stoichkov, who won three league titles and four national cups as a CSKA player in the 1980s, received a rapturous welcome as thousands of fans cheered him and let off flares during the club's first pre-season training session.

The former European Footballer of the Year, who became CSKA's fourth coach this year, took over at the 31-times Bulgarian champions after spells in charge of the Bulgarian national team, Spanish side Celta Vigo, South Africa's Mamelodi Sundowns and Litex Lovech.

"What matters to me is to fight to win, to do everything to win, I want to teach the players to constantly strive for excellence," said the 47-year-old, who was a key member of the Bulgaria team which reached the 1994 World Cup semi-finals. "That's why I want to see less talk and more work.

"We must be focused when we're working, so the players don't need to use their phones and Facebook so often."

Stoichkov, known for his aggressive manner on the field and frequent arguments with referees during his playing days, was also part of Barcelona's "Dream Team" who won the Spanish title four times in succession in the early 1990s under Dutch coach Johan Cruyff.

CSKA said they would give details on the length of Stoichkov's contract at a news conference in the coming days.

The appointment has increased media speculation that CSKA and Litex could merge in an attempt to save costs, with the two clubs already discussing the possibility in January.

"Let's wait and see," Stoichkov said. "I don't want to comment but I hope there'll be no problem."


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