(Reuters) – Italian side SPAL have sacked manager Leonardo Semplici and his staff after they endured a poor run of form and replaced him with former Italy youth team coach Luigi Di Biagio until the end of the season, the Serie A club said on Monday.

Semplici, who had been with the club since 2014 in Serie C (third tier) and gained back-to-back promotions to the top flight, leaves the club struggling in last place with 15 points after they lost eight of their last 10 matches.

Di Biagio, 48, has never managed at the club level and his only experience as a manager was coaching Italy’s Under-20 and Under-21 teams from 2011 to 2019.

He was also Italy’s caretaker manager for two friendly matches when Gian Piero Ventura was sacked in 2017.

Di Biagio’s first match in charge will be a trip to 17th-placed Lecce on Saturday.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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