Kelantan has hired former Maldives national coach Velizar Popov to handle the Super League side until the end of the 2016 season following K. Devan's resignation on Wednesday. Pix by OWEE AH CHUN.

KUALA LUMPUR: Kelantan has hired former Maldives national coach Velizar Popov to handle the Super League side until the end of the 2016 season following K. Devan's resignation on Wednesday.

Bulgarian Popov has been tasked to ensure Kelantan finish in the top four of the Super League and reach the semi-finals of the Malaysia Cup.

Popov, who has also coached Thailand's Suphanburi, Sur Sports Club of Oman and New Radiant of Maldives, relishes the challenge of reviving Kelantan's fortunes this year.

"I will try my best to help Kelantan win trophies using my experience from coaching in other countries," said Popov after being introduced by Kelantan FA president Tan Sri Annuar Musa in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

"History only remembers the winners, nobody knows about the runners-up. We will fight to win all the remaining titles in the Super League and Malaysia Cup.

"We can still win the league because it is not over yet. We just have to believe that everything is possible."

Devan left after making his intention to step aside known to Annuar following a 4-3 defeat to Pahang on April 20 but waited until Wednesday to make his decision public.

Following a search for a successor, Annuar made contact with Popov on Monday, with the Bulgarian arriving here the following day to hold talks.

"It's going to be difficult to start in the middle of the season but I'm prepared to try my best to win trophies," added Popov.

"Of course I'm ready to face the pressure from the fans, if not I wouldn't have taken this job. We play Selangor next and three years ago I beat Selangor with New Radiant in the AFC Cup.

"So I know I can do that with Kelantan as well. We will at the end of the season if I'm still around."

Kelantan are currently in sixth place in the Super League standings with 12 points, six points adrift of third-placed Selangor, who they meet on May 18 in Shah Alam.

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