Gigi Cagni admits he was shocked by his sacking at Empoli.

"Honestly, I did not expect the sack," Cagni told Radio Kiss Kiss. "I'm still convinced that there would have been time to make up lost ground.

"The club told me that the squad wasn't following me any longer.

"I don't share their view at all, but obviously I accept their decision and I hope that they are right."

The new man is Alberto Malesani and the gracious Cagni wishes his successor all the best.

"The side has the potential to do well and I hope that the lads will immediately warm to Malesani.

"I hope that he can save Empoli and I know that the team can claw their way back up the table."