Urawa Red Diamonds coach Zeljko Petrovic dismissed

With five games remaining in the season, the Japanese club's front office determined that immediate steps must be undertaken in order to avoid their first relegation since 1999
Relegation embattled Japanese giants Urawa Red Diamonds have sacked coach Zeljko Petrovic - with just five games remaining in the season.

The Montenegrin, who spent four seasons with the club as a right-back in the late 1990s, was appointed as manager of the team last December and many considered him a proper candidate to return the Reds to their former glory having not won the J-League title since 2006.

However, after a season that has seen goal production and attendances reach new lows, the front office decided on Thursday that enough was enough following Petrovic's surprise announcement, in a post-game press conference, that he would resign at the season's end.

The club also announced that current Urawa youth-team coach Takafumi Hori would be immediately promoted to coach and will lead the team on Saturday when they travel to face Yokohama F. Marinos.

In a statement posted along with the announcement on the club's official website, team president Mitsuo Hashimoto acknowledged the Reds' failure to remain competitive this season, while also touting their new coach's ability to lead in a time of crisis.

"[Takafumi] Hori has led the youth team for seven years, and in that time sent many of his players to the top team," Hashimoto wrote.

"Because of his familiarity with the team, we determined that he's best-prepared to produce immediate results."

The Red Diamonds currently occupy 16th place, one point from safety behind 15th-placed Ventforet Kofu.

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