Sacked coach apologises for attacking player

Delio Rossi has apologised for his attack on Fiorentina midfielder Adem Ljajic earlier this week, which led his termination as manager of the Serie A strugglers.

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In his last game in charge of the viola, a 2-2 draw with Novara on Wednesday, Rossi lost his temper with the Serbian’s dissent after bringing him off with just over half an hour played.

And though he insists he was provoked by the 20-year-old into launching an attack inside the club’s dugout, he expressed his regret over the way he retaliated.

"It's difficult to be here today,'' Rossi said in a press conference.

"My adventure at Fiorentina has ended and I want to thank the Della Valle family for wishing me the best of luck in the future.

“I apologise for the episode. I have made a mistake and I will pay for it.''

"I don't compromise on certain issues,'' the 51-year-old continued.

"I want respect for myself, for my work, for the team I coach and for my family. These issues were raised. My gesture was ugly, disgraceful and I am very saddened.

"I have never said that I am a saint but you can ask the children and all the players that I have coached in the past what type of person I am.

“I have never allowed myself to hit anyone, not even my children.''

The turn of events brought an end to the former Palermo man’s reign after just six months, during which Fiorentina have won only three from their last 11 and could still yet be relegated from the top flight, requiring one point from the final two games to be safe.

Rossi was banned by the Italian FA for three months on Thursday for his conduct, and will be able to seek a new employer from August.

Fiorentina have appointed team manager Vincenzo Guerini as Rossi's replacement until the end of the season, and Rossi wished his successor the best of luck.

"The job is almost done,'' he added.

"I ask the fans to be close to the players and to the Della Valle family.''

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