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Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011

Struggling Fukuoka fires manager


Fukuoka — Relegation-threatened Avispa Fukuoka have fired manager Yoshiyuki Shinoda and replaced him with assistant coach Tetsuya Asano, the J. League first-division club said Wednesday.

Fukuoka have won just two league games in their first season back in the top flight and are rooted to the foot of the table, 13 points adrift of the safety zone.

"There are 15 games left," said Asano. "It is going to be incredibly tough but we have to try and pick up points."

Former Japan international Asano was appointed as assistant coach last season.

Shinoda replaced Pierre Littbarski, a former World Cup winner with West Germany as a player, as Fukuoka manager in July 2008.

He guided Avispa to promotion last year after finishing in third place in J2, but the team made a nightmare start to the 2011 campaign, losing their first nine games.

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