Ferrara fired by Juventus

ROME - Juventus ended Ciro Ferrara's troubled stint as coach on Friday when the Serie A club installed former AC Milan and Inter Milan boss Alberto Zaccheroni in his place until the end of the season.

"Zaccheroni (is the) new coach of Juventus," the club said on their website.

"Juventus announce that they have relieved Ciro Ferrara of his position and appointed the coach from Romagna." A source at the club confirmed that Zaccheroni has been hired until June 2010.

Ferrara's dismissal came after the Turin side's abject form continued on Thursday with a 2-1 Italian Cup quarter-final defeat at Inter Milan.

Italian media said the club were intent on sacking him even if they had won on Thursday. Juve have dropped to sixth in Serie A, 16 points behind Inter, following a run of five defeats in six league games.

The media say Juve have appointed Zaccheroni as a 'ferryman' to steady to ship while they line up a long term solution for next season, with the favourite being Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez.

His main objective is Champions League qualification or at least fourth place in Serie A to book a slot in a preliminary round.

That objective is followed by a good crack at the Europa League, now Juve's only realistic chance of winning a trophy this term as their Champions League campaign ended at the group stage last month.

Former Juve and Italy defender Ferrara took charge for two games at the end of last season after the surprise sacking of Claudio Ranieri and impressed enough to be given the role full time despite his lack of managerial experience.

It looked an inspired move when Juventus won their first four league games but his inexperience showed when he could find no answer to an ensuing drop in form, despite several formation changes.

Zaccheroni won a league title with Milan in 1999 after making a name for himself with his innovative tactics at Udinese.

But he has not worked since 2007 after less than glorious spells at Lazio, Inter and Juve's city rivals Torino.

Zaccheroni will take training later on Friday to prepare for first his match in charge, at home against former club Lazio on Sunday.