Thursday, 27 December 2007

Cagliari replace Sonetti with Ballardini

Serie A basement side Cagliari have sacked coach Nedo Sonetti and replaced him with former manager Davide Ballardini in the latest twist in a turbulent period at the Sardinian club.

"I'm sorry about Sonetti but I could see the phantoms of (our relegation in) 2000 again," club President Massimo Cellino told L'Unione Sarda.

The dismissal of Sonetti ends a topsy-turvy week on the coaching front for the Rossoblu.

The 66-year-old handed in his resignation last week but was convinced to stay on after the refusal of Marco Giampaolo to return as coach of the club he left earlier this season.

However, following their humiliating 5-1 defeat at Fiorentina on Sunday Cellino decided to end Sonetti's short spell, handing the reins to Ballardini.

Ballardini was succeeded by Sonetti in November 2005 after a nine-game spell, but Cellino now regrets letting him go.

"I always liked Ballardini, he is a football connoisseur," Cellino said. "His dismissal was one of the few times that I was sorry to send a coach packing.

"Ballardini was not responsible for that situation. He was crushed by the workings of a team gone crazy that only wanted Sonetti".

The 44-year old takes over a club with only two victories from 17 games to their name all season. That form will need to improve quickly when he begins his second spell at home to Udinese on January 13.

Sonetti was the seventh managerial casualty of the season. Palermo, Empoli, Livorno, Reggina and Siena have also changed coaches this term.

Source: Reuters

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