Fabio Capello, expected to be unveiled as Russia coach in the coming days, has revealed he is confident in his ability to guide the country to the 2014 World Cup.
"I am very excited," he was quoted as saying Tuesday. "We can do a lot and we have much to do. For me it is a great challenge and, of course, the main goal is to qualify for the World Cup," he said.
Russia will get through a "very tough" group in the qualification tournament, drawn in Group F with Portugal, Israel, Northern Ireland, Norway, Azerbaijan and Luxembourg, he said.
"Two of us will qualify, but, like in all the qualification stages, it will be very, very hard. But I am confident that we will qualify," Capello said.
Capello said negotiations were not all plain sailing, and that some within the Russian Football Union had pushed for a native manager.
"Some preferred a Russian coach, but the president opted for my project," said Capello, referring to union chief Nikita Simonyan.
If confirmed, Capello's first game in charge would be August 15 friendly against the Ivory Coast in Moscow.
His first competitive fixtures would be qualifiers September 7 and 11, first at home to Northern Ireland and then away to Israel.
Capello has been unemployed since February, when he resigned from his position as England manager after four years in charge, in protest at interference in team affairs from the country's FA.
Capello has vast experience in the game, winning the Champions League and the Italian and Spanish titles in spells with AC Milan, Juventus, AS Roma and Real Madrid.