Muslin takes over at Anorthosis
© Foto-net

Former Cyprus champions Anorthosis Famagusta are pinning their faith on Serbian coach Slavo Muslin to revive their fortunes after crashing out of the UEFA Europa League to unfancied Petrovac.

German Ernst Middendorp was given his marching orders last month after Anorthosis were beaten by the Montenegrin side in the Europa League second qualifying round.

Now Muslin has been unveiled as the new man to take Anorthosis forward after being appointed over the weekend. The widely travelled 56-year-old is expected to take charge of his first training session on Monday.

Anorthosis, the first Cypriot team to reach the UEFA Champions League group stage, had hoped to go far in the Europa League but losing to Petrovac at such an early stage was seen as a humiliation.

The players even took the unusual step of publicly apologising for their exit in July.

Hopes were pinned on Middendorp in May after the club failed to see eye-to-eye with fellow German Ewald Lienen as the club searched for a suitable replacement for departed talisman leader Temuri Ketsbaia who went to Olympiakos.

"Anorthosis Famagusta has come to an agreement with the Serb coach Slavoljub Muslin lasting one year," the club confirmed.

Muslin played for Red Star Belgrade in his homeland and French sides Lille, Brest and Caen. His managerial career took him to Bordeaux, Lens, Levski Sofia, Red Star, Lokeren and Dinamo Minsk. Muslin achieved the double while at the helm of Red Star and Levski.

Ketsbaia resigned as manager of Anorthosis on 13 April for personal reasons but said it was in the "best interests" of the club. The ex-Georgia and Newcastle player made history when Anorthosis became the first Cyprus team ever to reach the group stage of the Champions' League, Europe's premier competition.

Although they failed to qualify for the knockout phase or even the UEFA Cup, the team remained unbeaten at home, beating Panathinaikos and holding both Inter Milan and Werder Bremen in games they could easily have won.

But apart from the Champions League achievement that put Cyprus football on the European map, Anorthosis were disappointing on the domestic front last season. They finished in third place and ceded the title to rivals APOEL Nicosia.

Muslin will be looking to get off to a good start when the Cyprus championship kicks-off on 29 August.