Lecce president Giovanni Semeraro has welcomed the appointment of new coach Gigi de Canio.

The Salentini are desperate to avoid an immediate return to Serie B, but they are embroiled in a bitter relegation dogfight.

After a 0-0 draw with Reggina last weekend, Mario Beretta was axed and former Queens Park Rangers boss De Canio was appointed.

"He is a tactician who many of you know and it is a decision dictated by the crisis the team find themselves in," Semeraro told journalists.

"There needed to be a change somewhere and, as usual, it was the Coach who paid the price.

"We think that De Canio can be the ideal man to put this team back on course because this squad is too good to be second bottom.

"The lads need to be rejuvenated psychologically and we believe that De Canio is the man to do that.

"At the end of the current campaign we will sit down with De Canio and make a decision over the long-term future."