Congolese defender Christopher Samba, who has returned to Russian Premier League side Anzhi Makhachkala after six months in England, has said he is confident his side can prosper when the new season gets underway next weekend.
"The decision to return to Anzhi wasn't hard for me to take at all," Samba was quoted as saying by the club's press service. "Playing for Anzhi was one of the best periods in my career along with my experience with Blackburn Rovers."
"I believe that in the new season we are capable of performing even better than we did last year.
"Anzhi's current line-up is stronger than the club had last season. Besides, we are coached by one of the world's best managers."
The 29-year-old international full back rejoined Anzhi by signing a four-year deal with the club from the capital of Russian republic of Dagestan after playing with Queens Park Rangers, who were relegated from the English Premier League last season.
Local media reports said that Anzhi had paid QPR 11.6 million euros for Samba, who joined the club from Makhachkala for the first time in February 2012.
The former Congo international team skipper added that he was happy to return to Anzhi.
"In January I had to leave Anzhi because of my family problems," he said. "And I was really upset to leave the team. This time I brought my family with me to Russia to avoid similar problems in the future.
Anzhi finished third in the Russian league last season and will play in the Europa League.
During the summer break Anzhi also strengthened their line-up by signing Russian international skipper Igor Denisov from Zenit St Petersburg and Russian international forward Alexander Kokorin from Dynamo Moscow.