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Heat intensifying on Inter coach Stramaccioni

Stramaccioni, 37, was initially chosen as an interim coach last season and was seen as the bright, young revelation of Italian coaching until a couple of months ago.

Now he finds himself in danger of becoming Serie A's 11th coaching victim of the season after a run of one win in seven league games culminating in Sunday's abysmal performance in a 3-1 defeat by second from bottom Siena.

Inter have dropped from second place, one point behind leaders Juventus, in November to fifth now, 12 points adrift of the champions.

Although Inter president Massimo Moratti has had reassuring words for his coach, that could change if the team fail to beat Chievo at the San Siro on Sunday evening.

"Things can go well until a point but then something might go wrong, be it injuries, form or refereeing decisions," said Moratti who has fired four coaches in the last two and a half seasons.

"I'm not saying it out of stubbornness, I think Stramaccioni is a bright coach," he told the club's website. "He works to make things run smoothly and he suffers when things don't go well.

"Things aren't going terribly but nor are they going well. The players need to know the fans believe in them," added Moratti.


"The crowd must stay with them, make themselves heard. The players care, what's important is making the fans happy."

Inter made three significant signings in the January transfer window as Croatia teenager Mateo Kovacic joined the club along with winger Ezequiel Schelotto from Atalanta and midfielder Zdravko Kuzmanovic from VfB Stuttgart.

Much-travelled Alberto Malesani, whose previous job lasted less than one month at Genoa last season, will make his debut with bottom of the table Palermo against Pescara on Sunday as he becomes the third coach of the campaign at the Sicilian club.

Malesani's predecessor Gian Piero Gasperini was fired following Sunday's 2-1 home defeat by Atalanta even though he was not on the bench, having been suspended following a row with officials in a previous match.

Volatile club president Maurizio Zamparini was angry because Palermo fielded four players they had signed the week before.

"I hope to see the new Argentine players settle in as on Sunday they were thrown straight into the starting line-up for the most important game of the season and some of them hadn't played for months," said Zamparini.

"For that I will never forgive Gasperini."

Aurelio Andreazzoli will take temporary charge of AS Roma following the sacking of Zdenek Zeman.

He inherits a side that boast Serie A's best goals tally this season (49) and second worst for goals conceded (42), a reflection of their former coach's attacking philosophy.

On Saturday, Juventus are at home to Fiorentina while Napoli, three points behind them in second spot, visit third-placed Lazio whose challenge has faded after losing their last two games.

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