Lopez to be named as Palermo's fourth coach of the season

Reuters , Thursday 26 Jan 2017

Uruguayan Diego Lopez was preparing on Thursday to take over as Palermo's fourth coach of the season, and said he was confident he could save the Serie A strugglers from relegation.

Lopez would replace Eugenio Corini who was widely reported by Italian media to have resigned on Monday after two months at the helm, though Palermo have yet to confirm his departure.

"I think it's a unique opportunity for me," Lopez told reporters waiting for him at Palermo airport. "We know it's a complicated situation but I believe we can save ourselves. We need to work a lot and speak little."

Palermo, 19th in the 20-team table, are mired in the danger zone, eleven points adrift of safety.

Palermo's temperamental president Maurizio Zamparini is famous for the speed at which he hires and fires, sometimes reinstating coaches only weeks after they have been fired.

Because it is often not clear whether a coach is considered interim or long term, and because some have been employed several times, there is no clear consensus over how many he has employed since he took over the club in 2002.

Most Italian media put the total at 38.

Last season alone Palermo went through six, two of them twice, plus Guillermo Barros Schelotto, who was named as coach but not able to officially lead the team as he lacked a UEFA licence and eventually left the club.

"Palermo is an important footballing town," said Lopez, whose only previous experience of coaching in Serie A was with Cagliari. "I met Zamparini yesterday and he asked to me to do a good job and said he believes in me."

Davide Ballardini was first out the door this season when he left by mutual consent after two games.

He was followed by Roberto De Zerbi, a coach who Zamparini said showed great promise but was nevertheless sacked at the end of November, days after getting public backing from the president.

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