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Penev aims to bring 'total football' to Bulgaria

The 45-year-old, who succeeded German Lothar Matthaus following Bulgaria's dismal Euro 2012 qualifying campaign, has his first game in charge on Wednesday in a friendly international against Hungary.

"I will require players to possess the ball much longer and I want to see us controlling our matches," the former Bulgaria striker told a news conference on Friday.

"The players should do much more running, they should fight for every single ball and for every inch of the ground and put pressure on the opponent. Every player on the field should be part of a fluid team movement.

"Everyone will attack and everyone will defend. That's my understanding of football - a total football," he said.

The term "total football" was first coined in the early 1970s to describe the way the Netherlands side of the time defended and attacked as an entire team. Each player, with the exception of the goalkeeper was able to switch roles at any time.

Penev was once described by former England coach Terry Venables as "one of the top three forwards in the world," boasting a remarkable scoring record in Spain where he netted more than 140 goals for Valencia, Atletico Madrid, Compostela and Celta Vigo.

The former CSKA Sofia coach is remembered in Spain for his poacher's instinct in the penalty box and for guiding Atletico to a domestic double in 1996 during which he scored 32 goals in 44 games that season.

"We have to be a great collective strength and I want to see us having our own distinctive style of play," said Penev, who guided Litex Lovech to the Bulgarian league title last season.

"I'll do my very best and I'm sure the results will come. No one should expect immediate results but we'll succeed and I have no doubt about this.

"Of course, I need time to convince the team that my ideas of football are the right ideas but still we should start in the best possible way.

"We're going to Hungary for a positive result and it means we'll be searching only for a win."

Penev, capped 62 times by the Balkan country, will have the task of piloting the team through a 2014 World Cup qualifying group that contains Italy, Denmark, Czech Republic, Armenia and Malta.