Davide Nicola (file pic). Alamy Stock Photo

Serie A strugglers sack manager for second time in month

Salernitana have fired coach Davide Nicola again.

SERIE A strugglers Salernitana have fired coach Davide Nicola for the second time in a month.

Salernitana, just four points above the relegation zone, officially confirmed what Italian media had been reporting with a series of brief statements on their website.

“U.S. Salernitana 1919 announces that it has relieved Mr. Davide Nicola of his duties as First Team coach.”

Nicola wasn’t alone in looking for a new job on Wednesday when fourth-bottom Spezia, two points behind Salernitana, said they had fired coach Luca Gotti.

In mid-January, Salernitana had announced Nicola was out after an 8-2 rout against Atalanta Bergamo.

But owner, Danilo Iervolino, changed his mind and gave a reprieve to the coach who unexpectedly kept the club up last season.

But they lost at Verona 1-0 on Monday.

Salernitana quickly posted photos showing Paulo Sousa taking training earlier in the day.

“U.S. Salernitana 1919 announces that it has reached an agreement with Mr. Paulo Sousa and entrusted him with the technical guidance of the first team,” said a statement.

Spezia, who are 17th in the 20-club division, one place and two points clear of Verona in the first relegation spot, made the opening cut on Wednesday.

“Spezia Calcio announces that it has relieved Luca Gotti of his position as head coach of the first team,” said the club in a brief statement.

Salernitana and Spezia are the sixth and seventh clubs in Serie A to change coaches this season.

Gotti, a former Udinese manager, arrived at Spezia last summer to replace Thiago Motta, who had led the promoted club to a 16th place finish in his only season in charge.

Spezia have won only one league game since the post-World Cup resumption in early January, drawing three and losing three.

They drew 2-2 at Empoli on Saturday after leading 2-0 with 20 minutes to play.

Nicola, another former Udinese manager who has also coached Genoa and Torino, took over at Salernitana last February. The team then took 18 points from their last 15 games and escaped relegation by one point.

Sousa, a 52-year-old Portuguese, coached Fiorentina from 2015 to 2017 and played in the 1990s at Juventus and Inter Milan.

Since leaving Serie A, Sousa has managed Bordeaux, the Poland national team and Flamengo in Brazil.

Spezia face Juventus on Sunday in Serie A. Salernitana are at home to Lazio.

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