Zaccheroni replaces Zoff as Lazio coach

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Updated: February 25, 2007 08:37 IST
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Former AC Milan coach Alberto Zaccheroni was named as the replacement Dino Zoff at the helm of Lazio today. Zoff was replaced after the Rome based side lost its second straight Champions League match Wednesday to French league leaders Nantes. Lazio have made a poor start to the season both domestically and in the Champions League. After a meeting with the team owner Sergio Cragnotti, the former Italian national team coach was sacked and replaced by Alberto Zaccheroni. It was a move that had been widely expected but the new man was at pains to say there had been no conspiracy. "To stop rumours, I would like to make clear that I only signed the contract 20 minutes ago, and not in suspicious circumstances. As the president said I will be tied to this team for three years," noted Zaccheroni, Lazio coach. Zaccheroni is sure he can revitalise a team that have drawn their opening three Serie A matches and have no points at all in the Champions League. He added, "The season is still long and there are still many Champions League matches. I don't believe the team is out. It still has a chance to succeed in the next round of Champions League. I'm convinced that this team has the means to reverse the situation. Also in the league, I know from experience, that with three points for each win it is possible to change the current situation." As to whom he might bring in and who might be allowed to go Zaccheroni remained tight lipped. "I believe that no two trainers are the same, just as no two players or teams are. Something will surely change, but respecting the players' individual qualities. So I wish to talk to team first, before making any announcements," he claimed. Owner Sergio Cragnotti is convinced he has signed the man who can take them back to the top. "Words are useless at the moment we must prove that we are still a leading team. My work has always been for a leading team and I wish to remain so and play in the main sport events," Cragnotti, Lazio owner. Zaccheroni has signed a deal that will keep him at Lazio until 2004.

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