Gennaro Gattuso has been confirmed as the new boss of Serie A club Napoli following the sacking of Carlo Ancelotti.
The former Milan boss has been given a six-month contract at the crisis-ridden club and took training on Tuesday, less than 24 hours after his former AC Milan mentor departed.
The club have struggled in recent weeks and they are winless in seven Serie A games in succession, sitting seventh in the table and 17 points off leaders Juventus.
On joining, Gattuso said: ‘The aim is to recoup points and get back into the Champions League positions.’We need to work hard, win back points and come through this tricky period.
It’s embarrassing to see Napoli where we currently are in the table.’The team is aware of the difficult situation and wants to do well. I’ve been encouraged.’
Gattuso is set to be joined at Napoli by assistant Luigi Riccio, who was a team-mate of the midfielder while at Rangers.
The pair grew close at the Scottish club in 1997 and worked together when Gattuso was cutting his managerial teeth at Sion, Palermo, OFI Crete, Pisa and then AC Milan.
Gattuso even baptised Riccio’s second son and the inseparable duo have been handed six-month deals with provision for an additional year if certain results are achieved, such as qualifying for the Champions League.
And the sacked boss has already spoken to his successor on the phone, wishing him well in the new role.
Gattuso and Ancelotti have a strong relationship from their time at Milan and the younger man has leaned on the veteran manager for advice in the past.
The two helped Pisa to promotion to Serie B and Gattuso wants him by his side again.
Riccio spent two years at Rangers but hardly played and is best known for his time at Piacenza, where he racked up 230 appearances.
Gattuso overlapped with him for one season in Scotland in 1997-98 at Ibrox.
Massimo Innocenti and Francesco Sarlo will be technical coaches and Marco Sangermani is anticipated to be an analyst for the team.
Napoli moved quickly to appoint the 41-year-old having dismissed Carlo Ancelotti following a 4-0 win over Genk in his final game to seal progression to the last 16 of the Champions League.
Gattuso said: ‘Carlo Ancelotti is like a father to me. He’s always been close to me and supported me. He’s won it all and I still have a lot to prove.’