December 21, 2019 / 3:35 PM / a month ago

Montella sacked by Fiorentina after seven-match winless run

MILAN (Reuters) - Fiorentina sacked coach Vincenzo Montella on Saturday as the club’s new owners finally lost patience after a 4-1 home defeat by AS Roma the previous evening extended their winless league run to seven matches.

The 43-year-old’s second stint at the Serie A club lasted only eight months and produced a modest record of six wins, seven draws and 14 defeats in 27 matches in all competitions. Two of those wins were in the Coppa Italia against lower-division sides.

Fiorentina said in a statement that “the decision was taken following a long and detailed analysis of the team’s performances and results.”

“Given the need to rediscover the necessary grit and determination on the pitch and produce an immediate turnaround, the owners and management decided that a change of coach was the best option,” it added.

Montella, previously in charge for three seasons between 2012 and 2015, returned in April but his team lost five of their first six games under his leadership and only escaped relegation with a 0-0 draw at home to Genoa in their final match of last season.

The team began the new season with new hope after American billionaire Rocco Commisso bought the club in June in a deal reported by Reuters to be valued at 160 million euros ($177.25 million).

The new owners immediately strengthened the squad, signing Brazilian forward Pedro, Chilean midfielder Erick Pulgar, Liverpool teenager Bobby Duncan as well as veteran French winger Franck Ribery, who joined after nine seasons at Bayern Munich, and also managed to hold on to forward Federico Chiesa.

Yet, apart from a run of three successive wins in late September and early October, the team failed to click and Montella was not helped by the absence of Ribery, who was given a three-match suspension for pushing a linesman and then had to undergo ankle surgery.

Montella became the eighth coach to lose his job in Serie A this season.

“The club would like to thank Vincenzo Montella for his efforts and commitment in recent months and we wish him every success in the next chapter of his career,” said the statement.

Fiorentina, twice Serie A champions, have not won a major trophy since being re-founded in 2002 following bankruptcy.

($1 = 0.9027 euros)

Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Toby Davis

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