Cellino 'wanted to send message' with Pulga exit

Cagliari president Massimo Cellino wanted to send a message to his squad by sacking assistant coach Ivo Pulga.

That is according to the Italian club's sporting director Nicola Salerno, after Pulga's departure was confirmed on Tuesday.

Amid reports that manager Diego Lopez was set to be sacked, the Serie A side - who sit 15th in the table having won just one of their last nine games - opted to dismiss Pulga, who had been touted as a potential replacement for the Uruguayan. 

However, Salerno believes the decision was merely done to make a statement and predicted the furore would soon die down. 

"We have been assured that the uproar is over. We just have to focus on the pitch now," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. 

"The league does not allow you to take your foot off the gas in times of trouble.

"Pulga? He's a worthy person and a great technical coach. The president however, wanted to send a signal to the group."