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By ESPN Staff

Rossi sorry over Ljajic attack

Former Fiorentina coach Delio Rossi has apologised for his behaviour after hitting one of his own players during Wednesday's 2-2 draw against Novara.

• Rossi banned for three months

Rossi attacked Fiorentina midfielder Adem Ljajic in the dugout after the player's apparent dissent at being substituted just 32 minutes into the match.

As a result, Rossi was dismissed by the Serie A club and has been banned for three months by the Italian football league.

"It's difficult to be here today,'' Rossi said in a press conference. "My adventure at Fiorentina has ended and I want to thank the (Fiorentina owners) Della Valle family for wishing me the best of luck in the future. I apologise for the episode. I have made a mistake and I will pay for it.''

Rossi claimed he was provoked by the Ljajic, 21, but insists he should not have acted the way he did.

"I don't compromise on certain issues,'' the 51-year-old Rossi said. "I want respect for myself, for my work, for the team I coach and for my family. These issues were raised. My gesture was ugly, disgraceful and I am very saddened.

"I have never said that I am a saint but you can ask the children and all the players that I have coached in the past what type of person I am. I have never allowed myself to hit anyone, not even my children.''

The former Palermo tactician, who replaced sacked Sinisa Mihajlovic in November, endured a difficult spell with the Viola. Fiorentina have won just three of their last 11 games and have yet to guarantee Serie A safety.

Fiorentina have appointed team manager Vincenzo Guerini as Rossi's replacement until the end of the season. Rossi has wished his former club the best of luck in the final two rounds of the campaign, with the Viola still needing a point to ensure Serie A safety.

"The job is almost done,'' he said. "I ask the fans to be close to the players and to the Della Valle family.''

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