Serie A strugglers Cagliari sack coach Sonetti

December 27, 2007

ROME, Dec 27 (Reuters) - Serie A basement side Cagliari have sacked coach Nedo Sonetti and plan to reappoint former manager Davide Ballardini, club president Massimo Cellino has said.

'I'm sorry about Sonetti but I could see the phantoms of (our relegation in) 2000 again,' Cellino told Sardinian daily L'Unione Sarda in an interview published on Thursday.

Cagliari have earned just one point since Sonetti replaced Marco Giampaolo last month. They were thrashed 5-1 by Fiorentina on Sunday.

Cagliari had to reject Sonetti's resignation last week after Giampaolo turned down an offer to return.

Ballardini's nine-game spell in the Cagliari dugout ended in November 2005 with Sonetti taking his place.

'I always liked Ballardini, he is a soccer 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'.

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