Diego Lopez fired by Cagliari

Maurizio Lagana

Cagliari are probably going to stay up and had to play Roma this week. So they made the only reasonable decision they could and fired their coach.

Cagliari are a perpetually average side that haven't finished in Serie A's top half since the 2008-09 season, when they finished 9th. That's their only top-half finish since they were promoted to Serie A at the end of the 2003-04 Serie B season. Armed with that knowledge, you might be surprised to learn that they've fired manager Diego Lopez despite the fact that they're seven points clear of the relegation zone.

While Cagliari aren't in terrific form, it's not like they're falling off a cliff. Their loss to Roma this weekend was expected and they defeated Hellas Verona just three rounds ago. They also have a 3-0 win over Udinese and a 1-1 draw away to relegation battlers Catania to their credit since March. But for whatever reason, they felt that sacking Lopez was the best course of action, though they were excessively nice to him in a statement.

"The need to give this team better direction until the end of the season in order to meet the objective of survival make necessary a change on the bench of the first team. This decision is extremely painful as Lopez has always presented himself as a professional man, and in the past has flown the flag as club captain. The club would like to thank the coach for his work and offer him our heartfelt best wishes for the rest of his career."

Ivo Pulga, Lopez's assistant and the previous manager of the club, has taken charge of the team for the time being.

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