Vladimir Latunov's first year of management in his homeland of Russia had started poorly but ended superbly as he led FC Ural Yekaterinburg to the best league finish in its history. But the hard work began now as he looked to strengthen to challenge perennial champions Zenit St Petersburg.
Vladimir Latunov's first season managing in his Motherland hadn't exactly started superbly as a stuttering campaign saw his Ural Yekaterinburg side languishing eighth in the Russian Premier League.
After 20 years of football management, Vladimir Latunov had successfully collected national titles in Poland, Turkey, Hungary, Czech Republic, Croatia, Romania, Ukraine, Slovakia, Serbia, Slovenia, Belarus and, most recently, Bulgaria. All that meant just one country remained on his Soviet Surge. The Motherland. Russia.
Last time out, we'd taken the USA to the World Cup quarter-finals and only narrowly missed out to hosts Italy with a 1-0 defeat. But now, having taken the States as far as I thought we could realistically take them, a new opportunity had arrived with Denmark.