After finishing today’s training-Team Manager Finke  

Comment from Team Manager Volker Finke after finishing today’s training

If I speak to start with, the number of questions I get may decrease (lol). There were both good and bad moments during today’s game. However, it was very important for us to play against a reasonably strong team during this time. We had two matches against the Korean team during this camp and I felt that those two games provided the opportunities for me to assess my players. When we play against high school or university teams, basically we are the one who set the game and the opponent team would just respond to it. It is unlikely be the case that we have to secure the defense and make counter attacks against high school and university teams. For this reason, I feel that matches that involves both attacks and defense several times just like the one we had today would be worth more for us.
In regards to the starting lineup of today’s match, those eleven members as well as Ponte, Edmilson and Horinouchi were the ones who would have been selected as the members for an official match if one was to have been held today. On top of these members, among those players who have not been able to participate in regular training sessions due to small injuries like Escudero, I believe that some have a potential to play in the match. For example, Nobuhisa Yamada and Naoki Yamada. They were able to participate in all the training programs about one week ago. For this reason, I hope that they will be able to get back to the state where they can fully participate in team training programs by at least a few days before the opening of the J-League.
As for Umesaki, he sprained his back during off time about 2 weeks ago while he was kicking a ball around with children. It is unfortunate that this happened as he is a player of great potential. I really hope his quick recovery and early return to our team training. As for Kondo, I regard him as a valuable centre back player. However, he returned to Saitama today. He has to have a little meniscus operation on his left knee. There are three center back players in our team namely, Tulio, Tsuboi and Horinouchi. Kondo is very important as our fourth center back player. As such, I wish for his recovery from his operation so that he can join the team training as soon as possible. Abe can also play as a center back player. For this reason, it is quite possible to have Abe as our center back if someone gets injured. After I discussed such matters with Kondo, we have decided that it would be best for him to undergo his operation and have rehabilitation now at an early time so that he can make a quick recovery during the early stage of the season.
In reality, there are eleven days before the opening of the J-League and we do not know what will happen during the next eleven days. There will also be a training match during the weekend. Therefore, I need to decide the starting lineup members for the opening match by taking many points into consideration including the conditions of players throughout all the training sessions. This is all I have to say. I believe my comment covers some of the questions you were planning to ask me.

(How is Alex?)
As you all know, Alex has not been with us for a very long time. I was very glad that he made a great recovery during the last camp. However, he is currently working on separate training programs away from the team. Having said that, I know him well as an excellent player and I value his personality as well. He is well recognized by the team and I regard him very highly. While I know that his recovery will make a great boost to the team, I cannot force his recovery. Conditions soccer players face are not always fair to them. He is working on his rehabilitation programs really well. However, he is not yet ready to make a full recovery. For this reason, I assume that Alex requires a little more time.

(Reds had a difficult time during the first part of the fist half.)
What I can say about the team as a whole was that players experienced some difficulties to get into the game. Of course, players were trying to find the way to get right into the game. But, I thought that they did not move well as a whole up until about 15 to 20 minutes into the game. There was also the back pass that Tatsuya made, which unfortunately led to the goal of the opponent team. We gave our opponent a point. In regards to this case, we should have had the point.

(Can Tulio join attacks as he wishes?)
Generally speaking, players have lots of freedom. However, it is important for them to play as part of the team with the right timing. All players can change their position flexibly. However, it all depends on the situation. As this is the case, it is possible for a different player to take the front line position every time we have a match and Tulio also can play in the front line. However, he should not forget that he is playing as part of the team. Similarly, players such as Edmilson, Takahara and Genki Haraguchi may play in the defense area of our team. When members can change their positions flexibly like this, I think players are playing well.

(Did you think that Tulio approached the goal at the right time?)
It is important to approach the goal with the right timing depending on the situation. Usually, center fullback players are away from the opponent team’s goal. However, when playing soccer, sometimes center fullback players are positioned closer to the opponent’s goal than midfielders such as Keita or Abe. I think the distance from the ball decides which player should come to the front line. In this regard, I think highly of Tulio’s move towards the goal and I value the judgment he made as well. Usually, I take a cautious stance when I make a comment like this. However, what I have been feeling in the past few days is that coaching among team members is getting better and better. We have more active coaching in terms of who provides the coaching and at what time. Of course, there are certain rules among the team and we discuss those issues in advance. Players take action to address those issues and I believe that we have good coaching among our team players. For this reason, while I am still cautious, I am being a little more optimistic.

(If there is anything to be improved urgently before the opening of the J-League, what would that be?)
Soccer matches are not like orchestra concerts, where anyone can make requests what tunes they want to listen to. In other words, our wishes are not always accepted. Of course, I take my role positively everyday and assess the current situation to decide what we must work on right now. I hope that we would have more options at hand before the opening of the J-League with Nobuhisa Yamada, Naoki Yamada and Escudero making a quick recovery. However, everything does not necessarily go as we wish. We must come up with a solution by taking daily situations into consideration. For example, when a player who participated in all preparation programs could not participate in only one week of training, he is still in with the chance. However, if a player had to miss training for several weeks, then it would be difficult for him to play in the opening match. This is what is to be expected. For this reason, I wish for the quick recovery of such players so that they can train themselves well to become one of the options at hand.