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"We will stabilize what we want to do on both offense and defense" - Coach Per-Mathias Hoegmo (regular press conference 5/13)

On March 13, Per-Mathias Hoegmo director held a press conference online and expressed his enthusiasm for the Meiji Yasuda J1 League 14th Kyoto Sanga F.C. match [MATCH PARTNER RDC] to be held at Saitama Stadium on Wednesday, March 15.

(Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Urawa Reds Ladies won the WE League title again. I think Director Matthias also watched Reds Ladies 's game at Urawa Komaba Stadium, please give a message to Reds Ladies)
Just what we were talking about here before the press conference was whether we should talk about Reds Ladies at the beginning. I would like to say congratulations. As a club and as fans and supporters, I think it is very strong, with both men and women winning Asia, and the women winning the league. I am enjoying their soccer as well."

(For the last three games, Bryan Linssen players have been on the bench. (In the last three games, Hiroki Abe players have been on the bench, and when I look at the training, and Ken Iwao players are also returning.)
'First of all, it is unfortunate that we only have 18 players who are eligible to be part of the team. There are some players who are in good condition and deserve to be in the team, but we are not able to include them. There are a lot of injuries, and this season there were players who only played 10, 15, or 20 minutes but made it to the bench. This is not an ideal situation. Basically, the criteria for inclusion in the team is that the players on the bench can cover whatever happens. If there is an injury, or if a player cannot play 90 minutes, we make sure that we are able to cover for them. Hiroki Sakai is back and training at full strength. Abe has also been showing us his magic in every training session. Ola Solbakken Abe also joined us in training today, so positive things are continuing to happen.

(It is natural for teams around the world to play better and perform better in home games than in away games, but I have the impression that Reds has had trouble with away games this year. The previous game against Albirex Niigata was also a win, but it was a close game. How do you see the challenges the team needs to overcome to get through away games successfully?)
"When we won at (BK) Hecken, we were so much stronger away from home than at home. If we can continue to develop our soccer and bring it to the point where we have consistent and stable performances in all situations of the game, where there is no blur in our style, I think we can create chances in away games. I believe that away games are often more open. To achieve this, we must first be able to consistently produce what we want to do, both offensively and defensively. We just need to be more consistent."

(I think the times when Reds has lost goals this year are the times when the opponent has the ball more often. In the game against Niigata, I thought that in the last 15 minutes of both the first and second halves, we were in a situation where we could not hold the ball well. I think there are two things we can do: to be able to defend even when the ball is held up, and to prevent the opponent from having the ball as much as possible.)
I think you are absolutely right. In the last game, we controlled the game for 25 minutes from the beginning of the first half and for 30 minutes from the beginning of the second half, and did not allow the opponent to create chances. It is necessary to further increase the possession rate, but it is also necessary to press hard when we lose possession, and I hope that we can defend aggressively when we have to defend in the mid-zone or low-zone when the opponent has the ball. There will be many different paces in the game, and we must be able to respond to each of them. I think there are various tactical and physical elements to that."

(What does it mean for one club to have strong teams for both men and women? In Europe, FC Barcelona has won Europe with both men's and women's teams, but I don't think there are many clubs in the world with strong men's and women's teams. Coach Matthias also coached the women's national team in Norway, what are your thoughts on this?)
'I am proud to be in a club where both men and women are strong. I think the future of soccer is there. When I was in Hecken, the girls also participated in the Champions League when the boys won the league in Scandinavia. In France, England, Spain, etc., big clubs are investing a lot in women's soccer. And I think it is very important for the culture of the clubs and the culture of the soccer environment to show that girls can also play at a high level professionally. And I think it is very positive for the organization as a whole."

(I think the game against Niigata showed both good and bad parts. How do you feel about that?)
I think it was very good that we came home with four points against Niigata. Niigata had not conceded four goals at home for many years. Thiago (Santana) scored a goal and Naoki (Maeda) also scored. Moreover, against Niigata, whose possession rate is the best in the league, we kept the ball 55 percent of the time in the first half. Tomo (Tomoaki Okubo) got injured in the first half, and the quality of our attack went down. And I think it is difficult to press high for 90 minutes, so we should play positively when we are poised in the middle zone as an opportunity to counter. In those defensive moments, team structure is important, but I think mentality is also important.

(What is your impression of Kyoto? What are your impressions of Kyoto and what are the keys to victory?)
We have another difficult game ahead of us. Kyoto is a team that has won all their games away from home. They also won 1-0 away against (Vissel) Kobe. I think Kyoto is a team that plays direct, with many competitive situations. In this game, it is very important to recover the ball well after second and third ball competitions. But not only that, I think it is also important to go to the goal in our own way. In recent games, the running of players in front of the ball holder has been increasing, and I think it is getting very good. The goal against (Yokohama F.) Marinos was great, and I think the second and third goals against Niigata were also scored from really good form.

(Ryoma Watanabe The player has started all 13 matches since the league's opening day, but how is his resistance to fatigue from consecutive games? What is your impression of his growth on the defensive side of the field?)
'He's made amazing progress. This includes the physical aspect. So is his mental strength. And also his tactical and technical approach. I think his offensive skills, including assists and goals, are also very high. In the last game, I changed his position to inside half when Ayumu (Ohata) came in, and he played with no problem at all. That he can do that proves how smart he is."

(Watanabe says he feels he has some work to do on the defensive side of the ball, but how does coach Matthias feel about his defensive development?)
I think he can still grow in all aspects of the game, but I think he can get closer in one-on-one defensive situations, for example. I also think that tactical and technical defensive reading is important. In attack, I think he can further improve the quality of his long passes. He can already kick with either his right or left foot, but I think he can further develop his left foot technique.

(Listening to Director Matthias, I think he has a great memory. Do you keep track of players' numbers and opponents' information on a computer? Do you write them down in a notebook? How do you digest it?)
'I am getting on the older side, but even when I was young I analyzed every minute of the game and each player. I even counted the number of touches of the ball. I was a full-time coach, but I had to do almost all the work myself. Today, there are many coaching staffs and others. In this context, the coach is expected to be a leader, but I think it is important to look at the game from the macro to the micro level as well. I am always thinking about the growth of the players and how to take advantage of their strengths from a scientific point of view as well. I have a curiosity about those areas, and I really like to see the players grow. I want them to do so with ambition. I think I can name Ryoma among the many good examples of the Reds."

(You mentioned that Solbakken has joined the overall training. Do you think he will be back soon?)
(You mentioned that Solbakken has joined the overall training, how is he doing? We have been doing a lot of physical training, so now we are going to increase training for soccer with the ball. And he himself is very motivated to show himself in this team.

(I think the Niigata game gave us many hints for how Reds will play in the future, but how to proceed after 2-0 or 3-0. The opponent will attack from there, putting everything on the line to try to equalize or reverse the score, and will use every means possible to get a goal. The side with the lead must defend, but where there is a chance, they will go for the goal. I think it's difficult to find that balance, what do you think is the criteria for that?)
'Our mindset is that we always go for the goal. I think that's what you need to have in order to play soccer. And I think the best defense is to hold the ball ourselves. For example, when we are leading 3-0, I think we need discipline and quality. And I don't think that run that made it 3-1 was good at all; it puts you in a situation where your opponent plays with a completely different energy than if you had made it 4-0. I think we have to continue to show what the Reds identity and DNA is. I think we have to be disciplined and alert and do what we are trying to do. And I think it's important to never lose focus."

(What is needed in such a situation is for everyone to paint the same picture, both in attack and defense, and if everyone is disjointed, it will give the opponent an opening. What is the important point for everyone, including the substitutes, to point the same arrow?)
Last time, it was the first time I was able to play with the same starting lineup for two games in a row. This was the third time we played with that group. I hope that the players' understanding of their roles and their relationships with the players around them will deepen. And, for example, players who are returning from injury cannot just play as they are because their bodies are healthy. They have to be able to play within this system. And we do a lot of tactical training. Today we also did some training with players who are not members of the team to deepen their relationships with those around them."

(If a base is established from here, can we expect to be able to fight the same battles even if members are replaced?)
(Can we expect that once the base is established from this point on, the team will be able to fight the same battles even if the members change? For example, on the wings, Shoya (Nakajima) on the left plays differently from Naoki on the right. I think those different characteristics will affect the inside half and sideback movement as well."

[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD:OM)]

"We will stabilize what we want to do on both offense and defense" - Coach Per-Mathias Hoegmo (regular press conference 5/13)

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