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By ESPN Staff
Nov 27, 2007

Empoli sack Cagni, appoint Malesani - Report

MILAN, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Serie A strugglers Empoli have brought in Alberto Malesani after sacking coach Gigi Cagni, the club said on Tuesday.

Cagni led the small Tuscan side to a surprise seventh spot in the league last term and their first ever UEFA Cup place.

However, they have struggled this season after selling midfielder Sergio Almiron to Juventus and lie third bottom with 10 points from 13 games. The club were also dumped out of the UEFA Cup in the first round by FC Zurich.

Sunday's tame 0-0 home draw with Torino proved the final straw and Empoli have quickly turned to Malesani, who left Udinese at the end of last season.

'The club thanks Mr. Cagni for the brilliant and historic results achieved as coach of the team,' read a statement on the club website announcing the change.

Cagni was shocked the decision to axe him.

'I do not understand how one can say that the team doesn't respond to me when against Torino they played a great second half,' he told Tuesday's Gazzetta dello Sport.

'Now I could say a lot but I prefer to accept the decision.'

Palermo sacked Stefano Colantuono on Monday after Sunday's 5-0 mauling by Juventus and reappointed former boss Francesco Guidolin for the fourth time.

Strugglers Cagliari, Livorno, Reggina and Siena have also changed coaches so far this term.