TURIN, Italy (AP) — Torino hired former player Davide Nicola as coach on Tuesday to replace the fired Marco Giampaolo.

Giampaolo was let go on Monday after a poor start to the season left Torino 18th in the league standings, a point from safety.

Nicola is known as a coach who can rescue teams from desperate situations, notably at Crotone in 2016-17 when the team secured 20 points from its last nine matches to secure another season in Serie A.

Before the start of that season, the club’s first in the top flight, Nicola had vowed to ride 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) from Crotone to Turin on a bicycle if the team avoided relegation. He duly obliged, arriving some nine days after he set off.

The 47-year-old Nicola also helped Genoa avoid relegation last season.

Nicola, a former defender, spent the 2005-06 season at Torino as a player, scoring the goal that earned it promotion to Serie A in extra time of the playoff final.

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