17.02.2017 14:54 h

Zeman return to Pescara confirmed

Zdeněk Zeman
Zdeněk Zeman

Charismatic Czech coach Zdenek Zeman was on Friday confirmed as the new coach of Pescara, the Serie A club said.

The fiery 69-year-old returns to the club he guided to promotion from Serie B in 2012 with the near-impossible task of trying to keep them in Serie A this time.

Pescara are rock-bottom with just one win from 24 league matches and sit 13 points from safety with just 14 matches left -- more than the nine points they have managed all season.

"I've returned because I owe something to Pescara," said Zeman, who had quit the club after only one season to take on a second stint at Roma.

Back then he coached current Italy internationals Marco Verratti, Lorenzo Insigne and Ciro Immobile.

"I hope the team will be able to follow me and play football.

"I don't want this team to finish the season as the worst team in Europe.

"We'll try hard to do something good."

Pescara sacked coach Massimo Oddo on Tuesday, three days after a 5-3 defeat to Torino, while Zeman had spent last season at FC Lugano in Switzerland.

The Czech made his name in Italian football, where he has spent most of his coaching career, taking charge of 13 different teams.

He became a cult figure during a sensational five-year spell at tiny, unfashionable Foggia from 1989-94, guiding them from the third tier to three successive Serie A campaigns challenging for European qualification.

And he did so on a brand of high-octane attacking football that was unheard of in Italy at that time.

He went on to coach Lazio, Napoli and Cagliari amongst his Italian sides while also having short spells at Fenerbahce in Turkey and Red Star Belgrade in Serbia.