SAITAMA – Relegation-threatened Omiya Ardija have fired manager Kiyoshi Okuma, club president Shigeru Suzuki said Sunday.
A night after it was humiliated 4-0 by Urawa Reds in the Saitama derby, Omiya was expected to replace Okuma with assistant Hiroki Shibuya for the remainder of what has been another floundering season for Ardija.
The 47-year-old Shibuya will be in his first J. League managing job.
Omiya also made a midseason coaching change last year, firing Zdenko Verdenik for technical director Tsutomu Ogura — despite being in contention for the title. The team ended up 14th, and Okuma stepped in for Ogura for this season.
However, the former FC Tokyo coach had not been able to lead Ardija anywhere near success.
The Saitama side is in 17th place, five points away from safety, and has won just three of 22 games. It has conceded 45 goals, tied for worst in J1 with last-place Tokushima Vortis.