After playing the match against Oita Trinita - Team Manager Finke   

Comment from Team Manager Volker Finke after playing in the J. League Fourth Sec. against Oita Trinita
We played in the Saitama Stadium today and we managed to win two matches in a row. What is really valuable to me is that we win as many times as possible here in the Saitama Stadium with our fans and supporters who come to the stadium to support the Urawa Reds. It was important for us to convey such a message to our supporters through our play. For this reason, I am delighted that we were able to win two home games in a row for our second match in our home stadium.
The play style of the team changed from that of last year this season. We are still in the process of our transformation. Looking at the members in this team, some players have changed from last year. As this is the case, I decided to introduce Alex in official matches earlier than I had original planned. Even though it was the first official match he played after a long time, he was able to play for ninety minutes. I think this is a really good sign and I am very much looking forward to his future performances.
As I do understand that the Japanese press and the European press are very different, I do not want you to misunderstand what I am trying to say. But, what I want to say at last but not least is that I do not want to see the press to pressure the young player, Naoki Yamada to be in the national team. Having said that, I think Yamada played fantastically today. He performed really well amongst many other high level players. I think he has good physical stamina and excellent skills. I think he is best suited for playing combination football.
As for older players, I think they are gradually adjusting themselves to our new style of football. With a few younger players added to this team, I think we may be in the position of showing good combination football in a few months time.

(What kind of instruction did you give to Naoki Yamada when the opponent team had the ball?)
I cannot tell you that (lol). He played in the way players are always trained to do during training.

(Despite the fact that the team now has more options due to having back those players who were with the national team, the team could not score a second goal. What did you think of that?)
Even when many scoring opportunities are created and many players play hard to score goals, not many goals can be scored. This is in a way a challenge that Japanese football faces.
Looking at how the Japanese national team played, I think the team created many opportunities to score goals. However, they did not get many goals. That being said, I have no intention of criticizing Japanese football. I came to live in Japan for the first time in my life. As this is the case, I am trying to accumulate experience in Japanese football at the moment. Of course, it is possible for me to criticize my team in front of you as to why they were not able to score another goal. However, what kind of benefit does that bring? There is no point in criticizing the team in front of you. Certainly, when another goal cannot be made in a swift manner, it is possible for a team to lose another point depending on the situation and it might have been the case for the match we played today. However, as you all saw, what was more noteworthy was how hard older players were playing. For example, Nobuhisa Yamada who played as the right side back player did an excellent job. He goes through many emotions on the pitch such as smiling and being upset to play his best for the team. For this reason, I have a great pleasure in seeing how older players try to adjust themselves to the new play style of the team and work hard to perform well together with seeing how well young players perform.

(What kind of play did you want Alex to perform as a side full back player?)
Based on one of the traditional rules we have in football, again I cannot talk in public about what I discussed with the players. Of course, I talked with my team players about many things many times. I had a long discussion with Alex about many things two weeks ago. In fact, I talked with him about how his current condition was and what my stance was in regards to his coming back to the team when he could continue to participate in team training on a regular basis and so on. He joined back in team training after spending such a long time for his rehabilitation. He was able to play in the official match held today because he was able to prove himself by performing well in team training. I think it was a wonderful day today for the team as well as for Alex in the sense that he was able to play for the benefit of the team as an excellent player. I hope that he will continue to play well for our team.
Since there are many journalists here today, there is something that I would like to talk about. I ascertain lots of information from many different sources about what is written in newspapers and I am aware that many newspapers write that “there is now a new team” in Urawa Reds. However, this is not the case. As you know, those players who play on the pitch are not much different. It is true that Nagai and Soma left the team. However, not many main players have changed, neither have we obtained many new players for our team.
For this reason, the expression such as “a new team” is not correct. The same team players had the result of seventh in the J. League ranking last year. As I do not want people to misunderstand me, I would like to tell you here that the way I see it is that basically the same team we had last year is playing in matches this year.

(As for player changes, why did you change Tulio and Takahara first and later change an offense player to a defense player?)
In regards to changing players, I thought of having Abe as a centre back and moving Ponte to mid field. This was because this allowed earlier defense against the opponent’s attacks. If we had another center back instead of Tulio, we would have been in a passive mode and chances were our opponent would have made aggressive attacks. If this would have been the case, we would not necessarily have secured a strong defense in the end regardless of having a defender. In order to guard against the attacks from the opponent team as early as possible, I changed the players as I did.
This is a technical thing to mention, but as you are already aware, Edmilson plays completely different from how he used to play during last year. He now comes back to our penalty area to defend the team unlike last year.
In regards to the second change of players, I did that as I did not want to put any more burdens on Keita Suzuki and Naoki Yamada who were playing at mid field. As they run so much for the team, I decided to introduce Horinouchi for them.

(How was Tulio who changed over mind way through the game?)
As you know, Tulio injured his head several weeks ago. He had head-on collisions with our opponent players three times during the first half of the match we had today as well. Under such circumstances, I had a discussion with our doctor during half time and we decided to introduce him back on the pitch again. He also said that he wanted to be on the pitch again. We decided in our discussion during half time that we would replace him with another player if he was not well after he went back onto the pitch. After a short while into the second half of the game, as Tulio said that he wanted to be changed, we changed him just in case.
It was reported by the doctor that he was fine at the moment. But, as he received three hits on his head during the first half of the game, we changed him. For this reason, it was not that he was severely injured. We replaced him just in case. As we have to be careful with head injuries and it is rather a dangerous part to be damaged, it is always better to change players rather than making them to push themselves just to be on the safe side.

(You mentioned that Alex was introduced earlier than it was originally planned. Why was it and did you plan to have him play for ninety minutes to start with?)
As you know, Alex’s position is so called “under construction” at the moment. What I mean by the position being “under construction” is that the player who assumes that position officially with a long experience playing in that position is currently not there. For this reason, many players such as Hosogai and Hirakawa have played in that position. However, Hosogai is now injured. As this was the case, I decided to use Alex earlier than I had originally planned so that he can fill this position. About two to three weeks ago, I had a long discussion with Alex and we decided that he will be playing in official matches if he was able to participate in team training for four weeks without having any problems. However, as the position was “under construction” in reality, I decided to have him play in official matches before four weeks passed. As far as I am concerned, I think he is an excellent player who has excellent skills and a strategic mind. He can play really good passes as well. For this reason, that such a player like him was able to play for ninety minutes without any problems today was great. There is no doubt that he will be a very valuable member of the team if he can continue to have good training without any injuries from now on.

*Tulio had a medical check at a hospital after the match and went home as no abnormality was detected.