OSAKA – Cerezo Osaka fired manager Paulo Autuori on Tuesday ahead of the last weekend of the J. League second division season as they attempt to regain their momentum for the promotion playoffs.
Autuori has been drastically replaced by Cerezo’s head of development Kiyoshi Okuma, who formerly coached FC Tokyo and Omiya Ardija.
Having picked up just two points from their last five games, Cerezo are fourth and can only rejoin the top flight via the playoffs involving teams placed third through sixth.
As it stands, Cerezo would need to beat fifth-place Ehime FC on Nov. 29 and defeat the winner of the match between Avispa Fukuoka and V-Varen Nagasaki in third and sixth, respectively, to return to J1.
“Our goal has been to return to the first division in one year,” Okuma said. “We need to get back to basics and fight through this one for all, all for one.”