New Genoa boss Andriy Shevchenko believes the club “can do great things” and is “really convinced” by the project.
Genoa’s new owners, 777 Partners, acquired Italy’s oldest club in September and felt the need to replace Davide Ballardini with the team sitting 17th in Serie A after just one win from their first 12 games.
Shevchenko, whose entire five-year coaching career has been as Ukraine manager, was signed to replace him on Sunday and his primary task will be saving Genoa from relegation.
“This is a very important moment in my career as a coach,” Shevchenko said.
“Genoa are an important club, this is a project I care about and the number one objective for us right now is to be in Serie A again next season.
“This is the oldest club in Italy and that means something. I hope to remain here for a long time. I was really convinced by this project. I believe Genoa can do great things in future.”
The former Milan striker called on the historic club’s fans to play their part in driving the team on, and revealed that new signings would be necessary for the team to achieve their aims.
“I remember it was like playing against 12 men at the Marassi, because the fans were so passionate,” Shevchenko continued. “I hope they can provide that atmosphere again, because we need their support.
“The team needs to be reinforced in January. Historically, it has always been a very aggressive side and we need the right mentality. Speaking to the players, I felt they too wanted to improve the situation.”
This job is Shevchenko’s first foray into club management and the 45-year-old name-checked three of his former coaches when asked to cite his influences.
“The Italian school is very important, so working with coaches like Carlo Ancelotti, Alberto Zaccheroni and Cesare Maldini was a great experience,” Shevchenko added.
“Coming to coach in Italy means being able to challenge the best tacticians and it’s an exciting challenge for me.
“I think this side has certain characteristics, probably suited to either the 3-5-2 or the 4-3-3 formation.”
Genoa’s next game is against Roma and Shevchenko’s former manager at Chelsea, Jose Mourinho, who the Ukrainian revealed his reverence for.
“I have great respect for Mourinho,” Shevchenko said. “His arrival has brought a great deal to Italian football.”