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Spezia hire survival specialist Semplici as coach

Leonardo Semplici was on Thursday installed as coach of Serie A strugglers Spezia.

Spezia are 17th in the 20-team league, two points and one place above the relegation zone.

The announcement on the club website made clear that Semplici’s job was to keep the club up.

He “will lead the Eagles until the end of the current season, with an automatic contract extension until June 30, 2025 in case of survival.” 

Semplici replaced Luca Gotti, who was fired last week. 

He built a reputation for keeping small clubs in Serie A when he was at Spal from 2014 to 2020.

He took the club from the third division to Serie A and avoided the drop for two seasons before he was fired in February 2020 with the club heading for relegation. 

He briefly managed Cagliari but has been without a club since he was sacked in September 2021.

Spezia have won just one of eight league matches since the post-World Cup resumption in early January, drawing three and losing four. 

The 55-year-old coach will take charge for the visit to 10th-placed Udinese on Sunday.

His first home match will be against Verona, the club currently immediately below Spezia, on March 5.

Spezia are the seventh Serie A club to change coaches this season.

The others are Monza, who were bottom when they made the switch, Sampdoria, Verona, Cremonese and Salernitana, who are all still in the bottom five, and Bologna. 

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