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Nishino is the new Japan coach

Nishino is the new Japan coach

Nishino is the new Japan coach

Vahid Halilhodzic has reportedly been dismissed as Japan's head coach following two disappointing global friendly matches and with the World Cup opening in just over two months. Halilhodžić had taken helm at the Japanese national team in 2015, and the squad have qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup which Russian Federation will host.

A former global midfielder who won 12 caps for his country, Nishino is best known for his stint at the helm of Gamba Osaka, which he steered to the team's first Asian Club Championship in 2008.

In the last World Cup Halilhodzic led Algeria to the second round where they pushed the eventual champions all the way to extra-time.

Japan is scheduled to play against Colombia on June 19, which will be their first game in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, in Russian Federation.

After being hired in March 2015, he steered the national team to qualification for the finals in Russian Federation in June, but he has been panned for the team's poor showing in a series of recent worldwide friendlies. "Nishino has seen the team more than anyone else and he will be our new manager", Tashima added.

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The writing was on the wall for Halilhodzic after a series of disappointing results, including a loss to Ukraine and a snatched draw with Mali from the last kick of the game. Halilhodzic is also believed to have lost the support of his dressing room. However, further criticism was to follow with poor performances and results in the eight matches played since qualification was secured. Association president Kozo Tashima cited "communication" problems in explaining the firing and said the Bosnian had lost the trust of his players.

In 2016, as Japan struggled to qualify for the World Cup, he told AFP he felt his players were too respectful.

"Sometimes I'd really like them to be more aggressive, more street-smart, more vicious", said the former Nantes and Paris Saint-Germain striker.

It was a quote which came to haunt the Franco-Bosnian, who has been dismissed just two months ahead of the World Cup.

The 65-year-old guided Algeria to the round of 16 at the 2014 World Cup, and he had been in charge of Japan for three years.

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