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Protasov promises to revive Dnipro

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Ukraine

KIEV, Ukraine (Reuters) -- Oleg Protasov has signed a 3 1/2-year deal to coach Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk and promised to restore the club to their former status as one of Ukraine's top teams, according to the club's website.

The former Soviet striker left Steaua Bucharest earlier this month after leading the Romanian club to the last 32 of the UEFA Cup and second in their domestic league.

"I would like very much to see Dnipro regain its leading position in Ukrainian soccer," told a news conference in Dnipropetrovsk, central Ukraine.

"My aim is to go out and win every match, starting from the very first one where I will be in charge. As a coach, my job will be to show that we can take on Dynamo and Shakhtar."

Yevgeny Kucherevsky quit as Dnipro coach in October after a string of poor results with Vadim Tishchenko taking as caretaker coach.

Dnipro are ninth in the 16-team Ukrainian first division at the halfway point of the season, 27 points behind leaders Dynamo Kiev. Shakhtar Donetsk are second.

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