Mutti succeeds Ventura at rock bottom Bari

MILAN - Serie A basement side Bari appointed veteran coach Bortolo Mutti to succeed Giampiero Ventura on Thursday in a last-ditch bid to avoid relegation.

The southern Italian club, who played some exciting football on their return to the top flight last term, have found their second campaign much tougher and have been hampered by injuries.

Pundits had praised Bari for sticking by Ventura, 63, despite being rock bottom of the table but six defeats in a row led to the parties splitting mutually late on Thursday.

"Bortolo Mutti is the new coach of Bari and he has signed until the end of the season," a club statement said.

The 56-year-old, who failed to keep Atalanta in Serie A this season, starts at home to Genoa on Sunday with Bari nine points adrift of the safety zone with 14 games left.