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Feb 28, 2011

Cosmi replaces Rossi as Palermo coach

Palermo have appointed former Livorno and Brescia coach Serse Cosmi as their new coach following the sacking of Delio Rossi on Monday.

Rossi was dismissed less than 24 hours after Palermo's 7-0 home thrashing by Udinese on Sunday, a result that led Rosanero president Maurizio Zamparini to reveal that his coach's job was hanging by a thread.

"Rossi has a 1% chance of staying with the Rosanero if you want to try and bet," Zamparini told Gazzetta dello Sport. "Rossi has destroyed this team. I told the coach to fix the defence and he did not."

"I must take a decision for my Palermo," Zamparini told Radio Anch'io lo Sport. "I will see three trainers between today and tomorrow, Serse Cosmi is one of them.

"I am looking for a strong man who can give a spark to the club. The team needs a spark. Rossi is a great coach, but Rossi's defence is the worst in the League. It means that the tactical structuring of the team is insufficient."

And Zamparini has moved quickly to appoint Rossi's successor, with Palermo naming Cosmi, renowned as one of the biggest characters in Italian football, as their new coach.

"Palermo announces the appointment of Serse Cosmi as coach of the first team,'' a club statement said. "The Perugia-born coach will train the team tomorrow in Rome and will be unveiled later that day.''

Sunday's shocking defeat was Palermo's third straight loss and dropped the Sicilians to eighth in the Serie A standings, with 40 points from 27 games. Palermo have conceded 43 goals in 27 games, 12 of which have come in their last three games.

They have the second worst defence in the league behind Lecce, who have allowed 48 goals. The heavy loss was the last straw for Zamparini, who had been outspoken in his criticism of Rossi's tactics for some time. Cosmi, who left Livorno last year, was Zamparini's first choice.

"Cosmi has a strong character and I'm looking for a man that sparks the team into life,'' Zamparini said.

Cosmi has plenty of experience having coached Perugia, Genoa, Udinese and Brescia in Serie A. He will take charge of his first game in Sunday's match at Lazio and said he cannot wait to get going.

"I'm proud to face such an important adventure," Cosmi told Palermo's official website. "I'll work for a prestigious club in an extraordinary city. I've wanted this opportunity for some time. This job is like a liberation for me, I'm extremely happy."

As for Rossi, he made no apologies after Sunday's hammering and insisted that he would not step down. The coach that led Udinese to the big victory against his former club, Francesco Guidolin, spoke up for Rossi.

"The respect I have for Delio Rossi, for Palermo and this city goes well beyond the final result,'' he said. "It was a nasty thrashing for them, but it will pass. I believe it is only a bump in the road for Palermo.''

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