Team Manager Mischa - press conference after the match against Kashiwa Reysol  

Comment from Team Manager Mischa after the Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Company J. League 2nd Stage 10th Sec match against Kashiwa Reysol

Those people who didn’t watch the match may think we narrowly seized victory when we finally scored a goal after a last-ditch effort 88 minutes into the match. However, our team’s performance on the pitch was better than our opponent’s and what the end result shows.

From the very beginning of the match, Urawa Reds players forechecked from the front and tried to steal the ball aggressively almost on a one-to-one basis. There was a high risk when we tried to steal the ball aggressively from the front against Kashiwa Reysol that has high performing and speedy players at front. Nonetheless, we courageously tried to take the ball away from them from the front. I trust that people were able to see our team’s great combination plays after we took the ball from our opponent team.

During today’s match, our players performed fantastically in terms of their off-the-ball movements. When playing aggressively, how players move off the ball becomes very important. With regards to our players’ interlocking movements off the ball, it may be difficult to be appreciated by those who have limited knowledge about soccer. Sekine’s movements off the ball was fantastic and he was able to receive the ball nicely many times. Having said that, he was lacking in precision when it came to last passes and cross kicks. I will ask him to improve those points during our training next week.

Some might have thought that Urawa Reds has been through a critical situation after losing the recent J. League match against Yokohama F. Marinos and Yamazaki Nabisco Cup 1st Leg match against Albirex Niigata with big margins. Many must have thought that Urawa Reds would never be able to bounce back from those defeats. However, Urawa Reds learnt from those big defeats and was able to win the Yamazaki Nabisco Cup’s 2nd Leg match against Albirex Niigata with the great result of three to zero. I believe that the team was able to play as they did today and during the 2nd Leg match against Niigata because of those recent terrible defeats. It is difficult to play well after a few consecutive defeats. However, our players reflected upon what they did wrongly and improved themselves to play as they did today. I think the match the team had today was an exemplary match for themselves.

It is very regrettable that we lost the Yamazaki Nabisco Cup and I feel responsible for the outcome. However, the fact that our supporters and fans appraised and supported the team even after the defeat in the Yamazaki Nabisco Cup boosted our players today. I think that half of today’s victory was enabled by the power of our supporters who bolstered the team and the other half of the victory was as a result of the efforts Urawa Reds players made. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to our supporters for their support.
[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD:OM)]

Team Manager Mischa – press conference after the match against Kashiwa Reysol