Stoichita succeeds Stan as Steaua coach

Ilie Stan has stepped down as coach of Steaua Bucharest and has been replaced by the much-travelled Mihai Stoichita, the Romanian club said on Tuesday, a day after their home goalless draw against Gaz Metan Medias left them fourth.

"Mihai Stoichita is the new coach of Steaua," flamboyant Steaua owner Gigi Becali told local media, adding the 57-year-old signed a contract until the end of the season.

Stoichita, who became Steaua's third coach this season after Stan (pictured) and Israeli Roni Levy, has returned for a third stint in the hotseat and could earn a contract extension if he wins the Romanian league title.

Steaua, 1986 European champions, are eight points behind leaders CFR Cluj.

"We can still win the title as there's a lot of quality players in the team," said Stoichita, who won the league title and the domestic Super Cup with Steaua in 1998.

Under Stan, who took over in October, Steaua recorded nine wins, four draws and suffered two defeats in the league as they also reached the Europa League round of 32.

Stoichita previously coached more than a dozen clubs in Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Armenia, Turkey, Cyprus and Kuwait as well as being at the helm of the national teams of Panama, Armenia and Kuwait.

He will make his debut on Saturday when Steaua visit seventh-placed Pandurii Targu-Jiu.