Team Manager Mischa - press conference after the match against Shimizu S-Pulse  

Comment from Team Manager Mischa after the Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Company J. League 1st Stage 15th Sec match against Shimizu S-Pulse

Today’s match turned out to be a hard one to play as we had expected. Shimizu S-Pulse is a team of high potential with young talented players. We knew they would pull out a great performance if given enough time and space to do so just like they were able to do in their previous match against Kawasaki Frontale. As Shimizu S-Pulse no longer plays in the Yamazaki-Nabisco Cup, they didn’t have to play a match on Wednesday. While they had one week between their previous match and today’s, our team had to play two matches this week. For this reason, we were slightly disadvantaged in terms of our condition. However, I told the team that we should put pressure on our opponent team from the get go and we must make sure not to allow them enough time and space.

Our players challenged themselves to follow up on these points. Even though our players somewhat lacked in precision when it came to their movement into empty spaces as well as their last passes and last shots due to their fatigue, they hung on so well. Our players fought through while believing in themselves and the victory.

As for the first half of the match, positioning of our stoppers, Tomoaki Makino and Takuya Okamoto, wasn’t smooth enough when the team was building up to make attacks. It would have been better had they positioned themselves further apart. Having Makino closer to the center created the situation where we were more susceptible to our opponent team’s pressure. With regard to Okamoto, though his positioning was good, he was a little too passive. Also, the ball didn’t come in his direction well. However, as I asked our players to address these points during the second half of the match, there were some improvements in the way our team built up our offensive.

I thought today’s victory reflects well the lesson we learnt from our past. We have a bitter experience of losing our pivotal match against Gamba Osaka last year even though we outperformed our opponent team. As for today’s match, though our players’ performance was not exceptional, they put lots of thoughts towards how they must play and actually executed those ideas during their performance despite the disadvantageous match schedule.

The fact that our team has achieved 11 wins and 4 draws without a single defeat thus far this season is a sign of Urawa Reds being a strong team. However, negative comments are written about us despite these achievements. But, I take these as the evidence that people have high expectations of Urawa Reds. I think this is something very pleasing. Though, looking back at our performance, I know we can do better and we want to develop even further.
[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD:OM)]

Team Manager Mischa – press conference after the match against Shimizu S-Pulse