Newly appointed Slovakian national men's ice hockey team head coach Craig Ramsay says he wants to be “competing with the top teams” within two years.
The former National Hockey League (NHL) player was unveiled as the new head coach earlier this month.
Next year, he will guide the side at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, where they will attempt to improve upon their best placing of fourth, achieved at Vancouver 2010.
The Canadian will also lead them in the next two International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Championships, with the 2018 tournament in Denmark before Slovakia themselves act as hosts in 2019.
Speaking during a press conference in Slovakia after taking up his first job in Europe, the 66-year-old said taking up the role was a "wonderful opportunity" for him, adding that he has high ambitions for the team.
“Hopefully we can improve the level of play of the Slovak hockey team," Ramsay said.
"I would really like to see the Slovak team competing with the top teams.
“I always believe I can make a difference.
“With our staff we can make players and the team better - but we can't do it tomorrow.
“It's going to take some time and we get young people and we can get them to understand the intensity and commitment to be part of this team.”
Ramsay spent 14 seasons playing for Buffalo Sabres in the NHL before a coaching career that included spells at the Philadelphia Flyers and the Atlanta Thrashers.
He was also an assistant coach at Tampa Bay Lightning when they won the 2004 Stanley Cup.
“I have some ideas how I think we should play - we want to play with a lot of intensity and in order to do that we have to have short shifts," Ramsay added.
“I don't like to be safe, I don't like to be laying back and waiting for somebody to make a mistake.
“I expect everybody to be able to play defence, but I expect everybody to try and score a goal as well.”
At last year's IIHF World Championships, Slovakia finished seventh in Group A with just one win, which came in overtime against Italy.
They cannot be relegated to Division IA of the competition during the 2018 edition due to the fact they are hosts in 2019.
The country's best result at the World Championships came in 2002 when they won the title in Sweden, beating Russia 4-3 in the final.
At Pyeongchang 2018, Slovakia will appear in Group B alongside Russia, the United States and Slovenia.