Team Manager Mischa - press conference after the match against Albirex Niigata  

Comment from Team Manager Mischa after the J. League Yamazaki Nabisco Cup Quarter-finals 1st Leg match against Albirex Niigata

Over the course of my 21-year career as a team manager, I have never felt this much embarrassment to come to an after-match press conference than today.

Our team lost the match by a big margin today. But, with regard to the first half of the match, I thought our players were able to control our opponent team’s attacks and didn’t give them many opportunities to score goals. However, we lost a goal from a set play during additional time and our opponent team started to lead the match after that.

Soon after the second half started, we lost another goal from a corner kick and Albirex Niigata led the match with the result of two to zero. I think our team lost control of the match as a united team from there onwards. Each player started to play his own game and made many mistakes of pressing too much. The match progressed in the way it shouldn’t have as our team lost many goals after receiving counter attacks.

Our team lost four goals during our previous match against Yokohama F. Marinos. In addition to that, we lost five goals today. As the fact of losing nine goals over two matches suggests, we are currently in a critical situation.

I have been leading Urawa Reds over the past three and a half years and I feel the team is in its most difficult condition at this moment. Every team will go through a trying time and I believe our team is going through exactly that right now. We must go through a series of tough training sessions so that we can play steadily as a united team again.

When my team loses, I have always said that I take the responsibility of the team’s defeat as their team manager. Under the current situation, I certainly feel that I am responsible for the team’s defeat. However, as for today’s loss, our players also need to reflect deeply on their performance. We must wonder if our players loosened up too much after achieving fantastic results during the first half of the season. We need to get down to the core of the issue and I must ask our players to reflect on it.

Our club, Urawa Reds, has the most number of supporters in Japan. So many people came to Niigata today in order to show their support for us in our away match. I feel extremely sorry for our supporters who always bolster us up. I terribly regret about the team’s poor performance today. Of course, I would like to extend our congratulations to Albirex Niigata for winning the match today. Their performance deserved their victory.
[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD:OM)]

Team Manager Mischa – press conference after the match against Albirex Niigata