Team Manager Mischa - press conference after the match against Nagoya Grampus  

Comment from Team Manager Mischa after the Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Company J. League 2nd stage 8th sec match against Nagoya Grampus

Today’s match was a very important match for us Urawa Reds to remain as one of the teams at the top of the standings. Likewise, it was a very important match for Nagoya Grampus to remain in the J1 League. As this was the case, there was an enormous pressure on both teams and it was a very tough and challenging match for both of us.

We had a pretty good idea as to how Nagoya Grampus would play against us today. So, we had good training during the week to play well against our opponent team. We had expected that they would play a defensive game with a 5-4-1 formation and their number 11 player would try to make counter attacks against us once he would get the ball by making the most of his speed. Our team was able to prepare well for such a scenario.

Our players moved the ball around in a calm manner to the middle, outer and to behind our opponent defenders. They were able to pull out a variety of moves and select the right choice of moves depending on the situation they came across. Before the match started, I requested our players to manage risks well especially when they lose the ball as well as when they are making attacks. They responded to my request well and they played the type of soccer we had aimed to play from the first half of the match. Thanks to such efforts, our team was able to score a goal before the first half ended.

As for the second half of the match, I had expected Nagoya Grampus to be more aggressive. I said to my team that this would be the case and told them to focus on making counter attacks by allowing the ball to be in our opponent team’s possession. I didn’t think Nagoya’s three players at the back would be capable of making dangerous passes nor would they forward the ball vigorously by moving more players to the back even when they would have the ball in their possession. I thought allowing Nagoya’s three players to have the ball would not lead to some dangerous situation for our team. Our players understood this tactic well and performed well with much patience.

While our players created several scoring opportunities, they were not able to make the most of such opportunities. However, they were very patient. In the end, we managed to score the second goal and won the match today. Our team’s performance was in line with what we set out to achieve today.
With regard to Nagoya Grampus, they came to the stadium with such a high motivation and a strong fighting spirit. I think their true ability is above what their current rank is as the standings show and I was able to witness this several times throughout today’s match. They challenged today’s match courageously and this made today’s match a very good match.

I believe they are more than capable of remaining in the J1 League as long as they would play their remaining matches against other teams at the risk of relegation with a strong determination like they did today. I really hope that a long-established team like Nagoya Grampus which was one of the founding teams of the J. League will remain in the J1. I wish Nagoya Grampus best of luck for their remaining matches for the rest of the year.
[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]

Team Manager Mischa – press conference after the match against Nagoya Grampus