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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

New Albirex manager Yanagishita wants to avoid relegation


Niigata — Masaaki Yanagishita has made first-division survival his target after being appointed as new manager boss of struggling Albirex Niigata.

The 52-year-old Yanagishita, who takes over a team second-from-bottom of the table nearing the midway point of the season, started work with his new players in training Tuesday and faces a tough first assignment at home to fourth-placed Shimizu S-Pulse in the J.League on Saturday.

"The aim is for us to be in J1 next year, too," said former Jubilo Iwata boss Yanagishita, who was named as new coach on Monday, taking over the reins after Hisashi Kurosaki resigned last month to take responsibility for Albirex's poor results.

Yanagishita first coached Jubilo in 2003 before managing then second-division Consadole Sapporo for three seasons from 2004. He returned to the Yamaha club as manager in 2009 and steered them to victory in the Nabisco Cup the following year.

Niigata currently has just nine points from 13 games.

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