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Manset makes Cumbrians move

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Mon, 11 Mar 2013 17:42:00

Gian Piero Gasperini has left Palermo for the second time in six weeks as Serie A's bottom club prepare to make a fifth managerial appointment of the current season.

In what is fast becoming a farcical season at the Stadio Renzo Barbera, Gasperini departs by mutual consent only 15 days and two games after returning to the hotseat on February 24.

The 55-year-old was reinstated after Alberto Malesani's brief 19-day reign, which started on February 5 and comprised only three games, but a goalless draw at Torino and Sunday's 2-1 home defeat to relegation rivals Siena have persuaded former Inter Milan boss Gasperini to move on.

A statement published on palermocalcio.it read: "After a meeting between adminstrative director Giorgio Perinetti and Gian Piero Gasperini, Palermo can announce it has reached an agreement for a consensual termination of the coach's contract.

"The owner has tasked the director with assessing who should take control of the first-team squad."

Reports in Italy suggest the Rosanero will now turn to Napoli-born coach Giuseppe Sannino, who started the season in charge of the Sicilian club only to be sacked after three games.

The Neapolitan tactician would return to the Renzo Barbera almost six months after he became president Maurizio Zamparini's first casualty of the season on September 16.

Gasperini then claimed three wins from 20 games to leave the Sicilians in 19th place upon his original departure, with UEFA Cup-winning coach Malesani appointed the next day.

Malesani could not improve Palermo's fortunes, however, with three points from three draws leaving the Rosanero bottom of the table and ushering in the fleeting return of Gasperini.

Zamparini told the Corriere dello Sport early on Monday: "We won't be able to save ourselves now, it's folly to think we can do it.

"We would need a lot of luck and for our players to act as if they're men rather than baby food. I don't know what they are made of.

"I'm not giving up but the maths reads otherwise. In my 30 years in football I faced relegation twice with Venezia and on both occasions we returned to Serie A."

The first task for Gasperini's replacement is a trip to face third-placed AC Milan at the San Siro on Sunday.

Palermo are currently tied for last place with Pescara on 21 points and five points from safety.

The 19-year-old's stay at Home Park from the Premier League side has been hampered by a number of injury concerns.

"Reading feel that it would be better to have Gozie back at the Madejski Stadium with the Royals' Under 21 development squad so that they can best monitor his progress," a Pilgrims statement said.

A 2-1 home defeat to fellow strugglers Aston Villa on Saturday was the club's fourth in a row.

A statement from the club read: "Reading Football Club has announced today the departure of Manager Brian McDermott.

"Owner Anton Zingarevich wishes to place on record his thanks to Brian who had achieved great success with the club since taking over as Manager in December 2009.

"Brian gained promotion to the Barclays Premier League last year for only the second time in the club's history thanks to a remarkable run at the end of last season. However, in our current situation, owner Anton Zingarevich felt that a change was necessary.

"The search for a successor will start immediately and it is hoped that a new Manager will be in place as soon as possible to lead the fight against potential relegation.

Full story to follow...

Despite losing 3-2 at Ross County on Saturday after taking a two-goal lead, the Hoops are still 15 points clear of Motherwell at the top of the table and cruising to their second successive title.

While Neil Lennon's men were lavished with praise for reaching the last 16 of the Champions League, many believe Celtic have been affected in the league by the absence of their old Govan rivals who languish in the Irn-Bru Third Division, where they re-emerged this season after falling into administration and then liquidation.

Mulgrew was at Hampden on Monday to promote PFA Scotland's player-of-the-year awards event, yards from where talks about the rule book for proposed league reconstruction were taking place between SPL clubs.

Asked if was down to him, would he have Rangers back in the SPL, the Celtic defender said: "If it was my choice? Probably, yes.

"I don't want to get involved in what is going on that side of things, I am just concentrating on things at Celtic and hopefully things will work out for the best."

The Scotland defender then addressed the notion that the Celtic players have subconsciously, if intermittently, let their guard down this season due to the loss of the Ibrox club from the top flight.

"It is hard to say," said Mulgrew, who was both PFA Scotland and the Scottish Football Writers' player of the year in 2012.

"There is not as much pressure on you but I am not using that as an excuse.

"The players know we weren't good enough against Ross County on Saturday and the performance was not acceptable.

"We should have gone on and won that game after being 2-0 up but we never so we have to look at that and hopefully will be ready when the next game comes.

"We just know we have to do better.

"At a team like Celtic there should never be a lack of motivation.

"The fans demand and the club demands that we win every match.

"So it's not a lack of motivation, it's just that we have to do better. It is simply that.

"It has been a good season for us, we got to the last-16 of the Champions League when nobody gave us a chance.

"We have had a couple of disappointing results but the main thing is we win the league.

"It doesn't matter how much we win it by, as long as we win it and we are also in the Scottish Cup so we will look to do as best we can in that as well."

After the Dingwall defeat Lennon said that some of his players were perhaps looking at life away from Parkhead.

However, the former Aberdeen player said: "Everybody is focused on the job ahead at Celtic, all the players are focused on what they have to do.

"So I don't think people's heads are elsewhere. I just think it was a bad performance and we have to look to rectify that in the next match."

The Chesterfield-born player, who has an Italian father, damaged his knee while playing for the Italy Under-18s against Austria last week and will have a scan to determine the full extent of the injury.

De Girolamo, 17, had been in contention for his first start for the Blades after making substitute appearances in recent home games against Colchester and Leyton Orient.

"Diego will have scan on March 20 to confirm what we feel about the problem," manager Danny Wilson told a press conference ahead of Tuesday night's game at Crewe.

"He isn't going to play for a while, but we don't know how long he will be out for at the moment and I'm not prepared to speculate.

"It isn't fair on the lad without knowing all the facts, but he will certainly be missing for the next few weeks, minimum.

"We're all gutted for him, especially with him being a young lad.

"He has got everything in front of him, but all that excitement has been taken away from him now.

"He would have relished the opportunity to feature in the run-in. But this injury is how football is and he will have the support of the club throughout his recovery."

The midfielder was shown a straight red by John Beaton for a two-footed tackle on John McGinn towards the end of the goalless SPL clash on Saturday.

Rankin appeared hopeful of having the card overturned when he appeared on BBC Scotland's Sportscene last night but United have decided against launching an appeal.

The 29-year-old will now sit out Sunday's SPL derby against Dundee at Tannadice through suspension. Fellow midfielder Willo Flood is also suspended.

Rankin had told Sportscene: "When you look at it again, I don't think it's so bad.

"There's no malice in the challenge whatsoever and hopefully we'll overcome the appeal later in the week.

"I've read it, but none of my two feet are off the ground. I've tried to keep both of them on the ground and my studs aren't showing.

"The referee is right on top of it and he's got to make a split decision, but I think he's a bit quick with the cards."

The 23-year-old former Reading striker, convicted of drink-driving in January when he was banned for a year and fined ?1,400, could be included in the Cumbrians' squad for Tuesday night's game at Doncaster, but is unlikely to start.

"He knows he's made a few errors of judgement along the way, but we've sat him down and we've talked to him and we think he's ready to put that right," Carlisle manager Greg Abbott told the club's official website.

"It could be that we have another one who is hungry to prove people wrong and, if that's the case, he'll either earn himself a longer stay here or he'll be off to a higher division."

Abbott added: "He has a lot of ability and power and it will be interesting to see how he handles this next few weeks. He's not quite match fit yet so we'll have to be a little bit patient with him."

The Frenchman was signed by the Royals from Hereford in January 2011 and made 17 appearances as they won promotion from the Championship last season.

He joined Swiss side Sion in the summer following his release from the Premier League club and has recently had trials with Barnsley, Sheffield Wednesday and Blackpool.

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